KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan was today charged in the Sessions Court here with two counts of money laundering amounting to RM2 million in funds allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak
The Pontian MP pled not guilty to both charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities (AMLA) Act 2001.
In the first charge, Ahmad was accused of committing the crime by accepting a cheque of RM2 million and failing to declare the amount to the Inland Revenue Board.
In the second charge, he was accused of providing false statements to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer by stating that he had not received the cheque worth RM2 million from Najib.
Ahmad allegedly received the AmIslamic bank cheque from Najib dated November 27, 2013 and banked in the monies the same day.
He allegedly committed the crime under the second charge in Parliament’s press conference room on July 4, 2019.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Norzilati Izhani [email protected] asked Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad to set bail at RM1 million with one surety and for Ahmad’s passport to be impounded.
Ahmad’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh sought a lower bail amount.
He said his client is still a serving MP and is not a flight risk, pointing out that Ahmad had voluntarily turned up in court to answer the charges against him.
The judge set bail at RM500,000 for both charges with one surety and ordered Ahmad to surrender his passport to the court.
The next case mention will be on February 21.
Several Umno leaders turned up in court today to show their support for Ahmad. They included former Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad who was charged separately for a similar crime, party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, its Kedah chief Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and former Johor mentri besar Datuk Khaled Nordin.
Previously, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had issued compounds to Ahmad, Shahrir as well as other individuals and organisations asking them to return funds that they are said to have received as part of RM420 million of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds from Najib.
MACC chief Latheefa Koya had said that those who refused to pay the alleged 1MDB money will face prosecution in court.
Both men filed separate applications for judicial review to challenge the compound notices issued last October, naming the MACC chief commissioner and the MACC as respondents.
The High Court will only hear their bid to initiate the challenge on the MACC on February 26.