KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Barely an hour after the High Court here gave him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on two counts of money laundering involving RM15mil, lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun was brought to the Sessions Court and charged with three counts of similar charges, involving the same amount, allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Hafarizam, who is also Umno legal adviser, pleaded not guilty to all the charges that were read out before Judge Azman Ahmad.
On the first count, he was alleged to have received RM7.5mil, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, through an AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque, dated April 16,2014, belonging to Najib and deposited into the account of his former legal firm, Messrs. Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak (HWAM).
Hafarizam was alleged to have committed the offence at the CIMB Bank Bhd, Putra World Trade Centre, Jalan Tun Ismail, here on April 17,2014.
For the second and third charges, Mohd Hafarizam was charged with receiving RM4mil and RM3.5mil, respectively, which were proceeds from unlawful activities through two cheques, dated Nov 7,2014, and Jan 21,2015, which belonged to Najib, and the money deposited into the account of the same legal firm.
The offence was allegedly committed between Nov 12,2014, and Feb 12,2015, at the same place.
The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which provides an imprisonment for a term not exceeding fifteen years and shall also be liable to a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence at the time the offence was committed or RM5mil, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Azman allowed bail of RM200,000 in one surety and set Sept 9 for mention.
"The accused is required to pay deposit of RM5,000 today and the balance to be paid before noon tomorrow, ” said the judge, who also ordered Mohd Hafarizam to surrender his passport to the court pending disposal of the case.
The bail amount was as requested by Mohd Hafarizam’s lawyer, Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican.
"The bail amount set by the previous (High) court, which was RM500,000, is still with the court. I request that for these new charges, the bail amount is lower. He has also just opened his own legal firm, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, it has affected his law firm, ” said Hasnal, when asking for RM200,000 bail for his client.
Hafarizam is not a flight risk, he said, adding that the lawyer had been given permission to go to the United Kingdom and he returned home within the time set by the court.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff did not object to the bail amount requested by the defence. - Bernama