Lawyer Muhammad Shafee’s trial to start on July 8

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 17, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (pic), charged with money laundering and tax evasion, is set to go on trial on July 8. High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah yesterday fixed eight days of hearing, from July 8 to 11 and July 15 to 18.

The prosecution, led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, promised to inform the court if further case management prior to the trial is needed. Both sides yesterday confirmed that all documents have been served.

On Sept 13 last year, Muhammad Shafee, 66, claimed trial to two counts of receiving proceeds from illegal activities, amounting to RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million, via two cheques from AmIslamic Bank belonging to former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak credited into two CIMB Bank accounts belonging to him.

He was accused of committing both offences at the CIMB Bank Bhd branch in Bukit Tunku on Sept 13, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014.

The charges, under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million and imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both, upon conviction.

Muhammad Shafee was also charged with being involved directly in transactions involving proceeds from illegal activities — making an incorrect tax return, in violation of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, for 2013 and 2014.

He allegedly omitted incomes of RM4.3 million received on Sept 13, 2013 and RM5.2 million received on Feb 17, 2014 via two AmIslamic Bank cheques belonging to Najib credited into two CIMB accounts belonging to him.

Muhammad Shafee is alleged to have committed both offences at the Inland Revenue Board office in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.

These charges, under Section 4(1)(a) Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities 2001, provide for imprisonment not exceeding 15 years and a fine not less than five times the value of unlawful activities at the time the offences were committed or RM5 million, whichever is higher, upon conviction. Lawyer Harvinder Singh acted for Muhammad Shafee yesterday.