KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has moved the trial dates for prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's money laundering and tax evasion charges from July this year to March 2020.
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed March 9 to 13; March 30 to April 2; May 12 to 14; and May 18 to 21 as new trial dates.
Shafee's trial was originally set to start on July 8 this year.
Lawyer Farhan Read when requesting for the July dates to be vacated gave the reason that Shafee needed to be present at Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International trial, as he was representing the former prime minister.
"SRC (trial) at the moment is prioritised, so we need to vacate July (for the trial)," said Farhan, adding that the SRC International trial dates and Shafee's original trial dates were clashing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz acted for the prosecution.
Justice Collin also set Aug 30 for case management on Thursday (June 27).
Shafee, 66, pleaded not guilty on Sept last 13 year to money-laundering charges for allegedly receiving proceeds of unlawful activities via two cheques belonging to Najib worth RM4.3mil - on Sept 13, 2013; and RM5.2mil on Feb 17, 2014.
The charges under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carry a fine not exceeding RM5mil or up to five years' jail or both upon conviction.
He is also facing two charges of allegedly being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity by making inaccurate declarations; and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.
For these charges, Shafee is liable to be jailed a maximum 15 years and fined no less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity upon conviction.