Shafee is standing trial for four counts of money laundering involving a sum of RM9.5 million, purportedly from Najib.
Shafee concealed RM9.5mil ‘legal fees’ from LHDN, says prosecution
Ho Kit Yen -May 21, 2021 3:11 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s RM9.5 million money laundering case told the High Court today he concealed the payment from the taxman.
Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz said the money, which was said to be “legal fees” from Najib Razak, was deposited into Shafee’s personal bank account, instead of his firm’s account.
Afzainizam said the RM9.5 million from Najib was paid to Shafee in two tranches – on Sept 5, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014.
“The accused did not declare this to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) in the tax returns,” he said in the prosecution’s opening statement.
The prosecution contended that since the RM9.5 million payment was concealed from LHDN, it constituted evidence from “which the court may irresistibly infer that Shafee was engaged in an unlawful activity”.
It argued that Shafee had breached Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLA) by receiving proceeds from unlawful activities.
Afzainizam said that for the third and fourth charges on making inaccurate statements to LHDN for the 2013 and 2014 tax years, the prosecution would prove that Shafee contravened Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act.
“He gave inconsistent versions on the reasons for the payment in question.
“In his statement to MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) on July 28, 2017, the accused said the RM9.5 million was his legal fees.
“However, on Sept 11, 2018, he told MACC that he and Najib agreed for the money to be a loan, pending rationalisation of the fee already payable to him.”
Afzainizam said Shafee presented a letter, purportedly carrying the former prime minister’s initials, to MACC officers during the 2018 recording session.
“We do not accept this letter as genuine and it will be our case that the letter was brought into existence at a time after July 28, 2017,” he said.