Shafee was paid only RM1,000 in Anwar's sodomy appeals, says witness

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib Razak. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was paid only RM1,000 when he appeared as deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy appeal between 2013 and 2015, the High Court heard today.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer Zulfaqar Mohd Khalil said the senior lawyer disclosed this to him when he recorded his statement at the MACC office on Sept 11, 2018.

The fifth prosecution witness said this when cross-examined by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh on day four of Shafee’s trial on charges of receiving proceeds from unlawful activity.

Shafee had obtained a licence from then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail to lead the prosecution team in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

In the 2012 Sodomy 2 trial in the High Court, judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah found Anwar not guilty of sodomising Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The Court of Appeal in 2013 overturned the acquittal and sentenced him to five years in jail.

On Feb 10, 2015, the Federal Court affirmed the conviction and jail term. However, Anwar was given a full pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on May 16, 2018.

Zulfaqar said Shafee told him that the RM1,000 was agreed upon between the lawyer and the government.

The witness also agreed with Harvinderjit that a RM9.5 million payment from former prime minister Najib Razak had no connection with Shafee’s role as DPP.

“This information was recorded in the statement,” Zulfaqar said.

The witness agreed with Harvinderjit that Shafee’s statement on the RM1,000 legal fee was to ward off claims by certain parties that the accused was paid RM9.5 million to act as DPP in Anwar’s appeal.

Zulfaqar also agreed with Harvinderjit that Shafee had brought along a press statement, a letter from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), and the letter of appointment to counter the allegations.

Another witness, former Bar Council treasurer Ravi Nekoo, told the court that in 2008, the Inland Revenue Board had discussions with the council saying that the income of lawyers should be based on accrual and not cash basis.

Before 2008, lawyers were declaring their tax only after they had received payment from clients. Under the accrual system, lawyers and legal firms must make a declaration of income regardless of whether payment is made.

Ravi said circulars dated Feb 15 and Sept 3, 2008, were sent to Shafee’s email address registered with the council.

Shafee is charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into Shafee’s CIMB Bank Bhd 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 facing two charges of being involved in the transaction of proceeds from unlawful activity by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

The hearing before judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues on Oct 14.

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