Najib’s lawyer gets DNAA for money laundering with fresh charges ahead in lower court

Lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today allowed a petition for Najib Razak’s lawyer to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) as fresh charges will be filed in a Sessions Court.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali also allowed Mohd Hafarizam Harun to withdraw an application to have him disqualified in light of the development.

“After hearing the prosecution, I am allowing a DNAA for the two charges before this court so that fresh charges can be filed,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff had told Nazlan that the prosecution was seeking a DNAA so that fresh charges could be filed in the lower court.

The request for the withdrawal of the application to disqualify Nazlan was then made by Hafarizam’s counsel, Hasnal Rezua Merican.

“We would like to withdraw, but with the liberty to file afresh,” he said.

Hafarizam’s trial was scheduled to run from today until Aug 19.

On Feb 21 last year, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of money laundering involving RM15 million allegedly received from former prime minister Najib Razak and deposited into the account of his legal firm.

He was said to have been directly involved in two transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities, totalling RM11.5 million in two AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheques belonging to Najib which were deposited into the account of Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak at CIMB Bank Bhd.

The offence was allegedly committed at the PWTC branch of CIMB Bank at Suite 1, Level 5, Menara Dato’ Onn, Jalan Tun Ismail, here between April 16, 2014 and Nov 4, 2014.

Hafarizam was also charged with committing a similar offence involving RM3.5 million through an AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque belonging to Najib, which was deposited into the account of the same legal firm at CIMB Bank Bhd at the same place on Feb 12, 2015.

The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which provides for imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the proceeds from unlawful activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher.