Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah – Bernama file photo
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today dismissed an application by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who is facing two money laundering charges totalling RM9.5mil to recover his passport in order to attend a criminal case in Australia.
Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the decision after hearingsubmissions from the prosecution and defence teams when the case wasmentioned before him.
Justice Sequerahsaid that in theletter dated May 13, 2019, requesting MuhammadShafee to go to the country was merely to assist the case.
The applicantspresent (Muhammad Shafee)at the detention facility for the purpose of translating in Malay language … he could send a representative from his firm.
It is evidenttherefore that the applicants present is merely to assist as there are Australian solicitors on record, hesaid adding that there was no compelling reason for Muhammad Shafee to be in the court.
Justice Sequerahfurther said that the whole rational ofrequiring the applicant to surrender his passport in the first place wasbecause the serious nature of the charges he faced.
The possibility of a risk of flight could not be discounted.So the application for the release of passport is dismissed, he said.
At the outset, deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, who led the prosecution teamobjected to the application saying that there was no reason for Muhammad Shafee to appear in the court as the matter could be handled by his representatives.
The accused should be treated equally like other accused persons. Heshould not be given special treatment just because he is a member of Malaysian Bar, he submitted.
Muhammad Shafees lawyerHarvinderjit Singhreplied thathis client was representing a Malaysian who is facing a drug case in a court in Australia.
Muhammad Shafee filed the application to temporarily obtain custody of his passport yesterday and today Harvinderjit submitted the letter as additional affidavit.
On Sept 13 last year, Muhammad Shafee claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to two charges of money laundering involving RM9.5mil that he received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. – Bernama
SUMBER : theborneopost.com