KUALA LUMPUR: A witness in Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s money laundering trial today said the senior lawyer was only paid RM1,000 for his fees as an ad-hoc prosecutor in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy II case.
Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations officer Zulfaqar Mohd Khalil said this was revealed by Shafee when he was questioned three years ago.
Zulfaqar, who is the fifth prosecution witness, said Shafee had produced several letters relating to his appointment as an ad-hoc prosecutor by the Attorney-General’s Chambers when he was questioned.
The graft busters had questioned Shafee as part of their investigations involving RM9.5 million given to the lawyer by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Shafee’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh then suggested to the witness that his client had taken his own initiative to produce the documents to rebuke allegations by certain quarters that the money was payment for his service in prosecuting Anwar’s case.
The witness agreed.
“My client had shown a list of Barisan Nasional (BN) election petition files between 2004 and 2006, where he explained that 46 files regarding election petitions were opened during that time.
“He also produced his own press release and letters of appointment from the AGC relating to his appointment as an ad-hoc prosecutor in Anwar’s sodomy II case.
“This is to show that the money was not as payment for Anwar’s case but for the BN’s election petitions,” Harvinderjit said during cross-examination.
In March 2015, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who was the then minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, revealed that the government paid a total of RM1,000 to Shafee to lead the prosecution in Anwar’s sodomy II case.
Meanwhile, former Malaysian Bar Council treasurer N. Ravindran who is the sixth prosecution witness, said all legal firms must declare their income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) via accrual basis.
“Accrual basis means they need to declare their income for that year despite pending payment from their respective clients.
“In 2008, the IRB had issued a directive to make it mandatory for all lawyers to declare their income on an accrual basis.
“We already informed our members via email that they provided to us,” he said in his witness statement.
The trial before judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues on Oct 14.
Shafee, 69, has pleaded not guilty to receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.
He allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.
Shafee is also charged with making false declarations to the IRB for not including the RM9.5 million in his tax filing.
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