KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Pontian Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who is charged for failing to declare RM2 million received from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and giving false statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), will have his trial heard in the High Court here.
This followed a decision by Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah today in allowing Ahmad’s application to have his case transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court.
Ahmad’s lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh when contacted today via the WhatsApp application, said the decision was made because there were serious legal issues that arose, especially in the charges faced by his client under Section 32 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
“Besides that, there were two other similar cases including the case of Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad (former Felda chairman) which was also transferred to the High Court,” he said, adding that the application to transfer the case was filed on June 28.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar said that the prosecution had no objections to the case being transferred to the High Court.
“The prosecution will present 10 or 11 witnesses to testify at the trial,” he said.
Previously, the case was set for trial before Sessions Court Judge Suzana Hussain from July 5.
On the charge of money laundering, Ahmad was alleged to have violated Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 by not stating his real income on the RM2 million he received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013.
He is alleged to have received the money, believed to be proceeds of illegal activities, via a check from AmIslamic Bank Berhad dated November 27, 2013 which he personally cashed on the same day.
The offence was allegedly committed at the IRB, Duta Branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, on April 30, 2014.
The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM5 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.
The other was for giving false statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when questioned by MACC investigating officer, Principal Senior Assistant Superintendent Mohd Zairi Zainal, over the issue at the media conference room, Parliament Building, Jalan Parlimen here, between 2.45pm and 3.30pm on July 4, 2019.
The charge, framed under Section 32(8)c) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM3 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both if found guilty. — Bernama