Lawyers’ group urges probe into Shafee Abdullah’s RM9.5m payment in Anwar case

Lawyer N. Surendran said there had been enough indications of hanky panky from the June 2017 report by whistleblower website Sarawak Report for a probe into the RM9.5 million payment. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer N. Surendran said there had been enough indications of hanky panky from the June 2017 report by whistleblower website Sarawak Report for a probe into the RM9.5 million payment. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 ― Lawyers for Liberty want the police and anti-corruption officers to investigate the alleged RM9.5 million payment to private lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah who acted as prosecutor in the second sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Its adviser N. Surendran said there had been enough indications of hanky panky from the June 2017 report by whistleblower website Sarawak Report for a probe into the payment, alleged by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He also asked if the new Attorney-General Tommy Thomas has been asked to look into the case, noting the Pakatan Harapan administration has been reviewing a number of cases in its promise for reform since taking control of Putrajaya last month.

“Although the new reforming government has been in power since 10 May, there has been no news of the Najib-Shafee 9.5 million case.

“Have Najib and Shafee been questioned by police or MACC on this since the PH government took power? What is the status of the investigation and has the new A-G been briefed?” the lawyer asked in a statement today.

Surendran, who was part of Anwar’s legal defence team during the Sodomy II trial, said the payment needs to be scrutinised urgently as the source of the money is suspected to have come from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.

“This is an extremely serious matter, as it involves the integrity of the justice system and the right to a fair trial of an accused person, Anwar Ibrahim,” he added.

Najib is currently under investigation for suspected embezzlement and money laundering of funds from 1MDB, his brainchild while in power.

Anwar, who has been named as the next prime minister after the incumbent Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, received a royal pardon from the King and released ahead of the completion of his five-year jail sentence for the crime he maintains was politically motivated to kill his political career.