In court, Malay Mail reporter confirms Shafee sent out press statements on RM9.5m payment from Najib

KUALA LUMPUR : In the High Court today, a senior journalist from a local publication has confirmed writing four news articles in connection with Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s RM9.5 million payment that he had received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak, purportedly for legal services rendered.

Malay Mail senior correspondent Ida Lim Lee Ting had confirmed four news articles written based on Shafee’s own six-page press statement that was issued on September 8, 2018, and published on the same day, in response to allegations that the payments received was for his services as an ad hoc prosecutor for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeals.

Under questioning by deputy public prosecutor Natasha Chin Le Jy, Lim also confirmed that the press statement was relayed to her by Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, a lawyer with Messrs Shafee & Co and also Shafee’ son.

The articles in question were written based on Shafee’s statement that the RM9.5 million was legal services rendered to Umno and BN for 46 election petition files in 2004 and in 2006 and were not pertaining to Anwar’s Sodomy II appeal case.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court complex May 28, 2021. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Shafee also stated in the statement that it was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that wanted him to prosecute Anwar in the latter’s appeal.

The senior lawyer also alleged in his statement that he was being “harrased” over the sums of money and that he have explained the matter several times to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision (MAAC) over the payments.

In this case, Muhammad Shafee was charged on two counts of allegedly receiving proceeds from unlawful activities via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.

He allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on September 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on February 17, 2014. Both the offences were allegedly committed at the CIMB Bank branch in Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activities, namely, by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh is representing Shafee in the case.

The trial in front of Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin will continue June 4.


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