Senior Malaysian lawyer for former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was charged with money laundering on Thursday (13//09), Reuters reported. The issue was revealed as anti-graft agents traced to find out how billions of dollars drained from troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Muhammad Shafee is a defense team leader for former PM Najib who himself faces charges of criminal breach of trust, and abuse of power at a 1MDB unit, namely SRC International. The charges against the lawyer only make the matters worse.
Shafee allegedly received 9.5 million ringgit ($2.29 million) through cheques issued by Najib in 2013 and 2014.
Prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram admitted that the investigation was part of 1MDB issue but did not blatantly state that the money received by Shafee came from that fund.
Shafee himself admitted he received the money but refuted the accusation from his opponents saying that the money was paid to prosecute Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) who was imprisoned three years ago in his sodomy trial. Instead, Shafee said the payments were for legal services done for Barisan Nasional and Umno.