Umno lawyer faces new accusations

Putting up a legal fight: Mohd Hafarizam (centre) arriving at the court. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has given Umno lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for two counts of money laundering so that fresh charges could be filed against him.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the decision after deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff informed the court that the prosecution was seeking the DNAA for the accused from all the charges which involved a total of RM15mil and filed fresh new charges in the Sessions Court the same day.

Ishak had informed the court that the first charge was defective because it involved two transactions in April and November 2014.

“We have to split up the two transactions into new charges. So, we are seeking the accused to be DNAA for both charges and he will be charged immediately at the lower court with different charges, ” he added.

Mohd Hafarizam’s counsel Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican said in light of the new development

by the prosecution, the defence would withdraw their application for recusal of the judge that was made earlier, as it had become academic.

The case was slotted for the first day of hearing before Justice Mohd Nazlan yesterday.

On Feb 21 last year, Mohd Hafarizam, 48, pleaded not guilty to two counts of money laundering, involving RM15mil, which he allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and deposited into the account of his legal firm.

On the first count, he was alleged to have been directly involved in two transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities totalling RM11.5mil in two AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheques belonging to Najib.They were deposited into the account of Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak (HWAM) at CIMB Bank Bhd. The offence was allegedly committed at the PWTC branch of CIMB Bank in Jalan Tun Ismail here between April 16,2014, and Nov 4,2014.

Mohd Hafarizam was also charged with committing a similar offence involving RM3.5mil through an AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque belonging to Najib, which was deposited into the account of the same legal firm at the CIMB Bank branch on Feb 12,2015.

Less than an hour after the High Court proceedings ended, Mohd Hafarizam was charged in the Sessions Court with three counts of money laundering involving RM7.5mil, RM4mil and RM3.5mil.

He pleaded not guilty before Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad.

The Sessions judge set bail at RM200,000 in one surety and Sept 9 for mention. — Bernama

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