KUALA LUMPUR (February 22): The trial of lead lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for money laundering and income tax of RM9.5 million has been postponed because his lead lawyer is unwell.
“Harvinderjit [Singh] is ill, so the case has been postponed,” Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, another lawyer on Shafee’s team, said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday, February 22.
Muhammad Farhan also confirmed that the lead lawyer’s illness was unrelated to Covid-19.
Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin then set March 28 and 29 as well as April 27 for the continuation of the trial.
Inland Revenue Board officer Syed Nasrul Fahmi Syed Mohamad was due to be cross-examined by the defendants on Tuesday. He is the seventh prosecution witness.
Last Tuesday, Judge Muhammad rejected Shafee’s attempt to erase parts of Syed Nasrul’s witness statement.
It was reported that according to Shafee’s lawyers, Syed Nasrul had given “legal opinions” on certain matters when he had the expertise to do so. They had also argued that the witness would have spoken of documents that had not been produced as evidence in court.
Judge Muhammad had ruled that Shafee’s lawyers had the opportunity to cross-examine to determine the accuracy of his statements.
Deputy Attorney General Afzainizam Abdul Aziz represented prosecutors on Tuesday.
Shafee is on trial for two charges of receiving money from illegal activities in the amount of RM9.5 million, through two checks of RM4.3 million on September 5, 2013 and 5.2 million RM on 14 February 2014 respectively, issued by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, which were allegedly deposited in the lawyer’s CIMB Bank Bhd account.
Lead Counsel also faces two charges of participating in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns and violating Section 113(1)(a) of the 1967 income tax for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2014.
The trial began on September 13, 2018.
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