Lawyer of former Malaysian PM Najib charged with money laundering

Senior Malaysian lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is believed to have been arrested by officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, on Sept 12, 2018. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The lawyer of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was charged with money laundering on Thursday (Sept 13).

He was allowed a bail of RM1 million (S$331,000). Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi granted him bail with two sureties with RM500,000 to be paid by Thursday, while the remaining RM500,000 is to be paid by Tuesday (Sept 18).

She also ordered Shafee to surrender both his diplomatic and Malaysian passports.

Earlier, Shafee claimed trial to two charges of receiving money from the proceeds of illegal activities.

He pleaded not guilty to the two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 involving RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million received from former prime minister Najib Razak.

Shafee also pleaded not guilty to two charges of making incorrect returns by omitting or understating any income under the Income Tax Act.

The prosecution was led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

Shafee was at the Johor Baru High Court to attend to a case on Wednesday morning and had returned to Kuala Lumpur.

He was scheduled to fly to Penang to handle a Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 case.

He was arrested at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Aiport in Subang before the scheduled flight on Thursday morning.

Shafee is leading the defence team for Najib's charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.

On Sept 6, the Attorney General's Chamber issued an affidavit claiming that Shafee received payments amounting to RM9.5 million from Najib between 2013 and 2014.

Allegations have surfaced that the payments were made to prosecute Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the sodomy appeals case at the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

Shafee denied the allegations, saying that the payments were for legal services done for Umno and Barisan Nasional.

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