Shafee's money laundering trial pushed to next year to make way for Najib's SRC case

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 27): Senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's money laundering trial, which was scheduled to begin next month, will instead start in March next year so that his original trial dates may be used for Datuk Seri Najib Razak's ongoing SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, where Shafee is serving as the former premier's lead defence counsel.

High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, who initially had fixed July 8 as the beginning of Shafee's trial, has now fixed March 9-13, March 30 to April 2, May 12 to 14 and May 18 to 21 as the new trial dates for the case.

The dates were set during case management of the case today.

Justice Sequerah also fixed case management for this case on Aug 30 to check on the progress of the SRC trial as he will also be presiding over Najib's 1Malaysia Development Bhd trial over graft and money laundering charges involving RM2.28 billion.

Lawyer Farhan Read appeared for Shafee in today's matter.

The 66-year-old senior lawyer was charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activity when he accepted two cheques from Najib that were deposited to his CIMB Bank Bhd account.

Shafee allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014 that were deposited into CIMB Bank, J2 and K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku.

The charges under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carry a fine of not exceeding RM5 million or up to five years' jail or both upon conviction.

He also faces two charges of making inaccurate statements, in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014, as a result of the two transactions.

He allegedly committed the offences at the Duta branch of Inland Revenue Board, Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.

For this, Shafee is liable to be jailed a maximum 15 years and fined not less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity.