Shahrir seeks to recuse judge from hearing application

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad (pic), who is facing a charge of failing to declare to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) RM1mil received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has applied to disqualify a High Court judge from presiding over his bid to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Lawyer Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin told Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali yesterday that he had filed the application.

Based on the affidavit filed on Dec 17, Shahrir applied to the court for an order for Justice Mohd Nazlan to recuse himself from hearing the matter and for it to be transferred to another High Court as “there is a real possibility of bias”.

“Through the charges filed against me, I have been accused of receiving income from Datuk Seri Najib Razak amounting to RM1mil through an AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque... I have also been advised by my lawyer and truly believe that Datuk Seri Najib has been tried and convicted, and was sentenced on July 28.

“The judge who tried and sentenced Datuk Seri Najib in the case was judge Mohd Nazlan, the same judge who is scheduled to hear the application to transfer my case.

“Among the reasons raised through the cause papers to support the application to transfer my case is that the cheque that was allegedly given to me came from Datuk Seri Najib, ” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali then informed the court that the prosecution needed time to file an affidavit-in-reply.

“The respondent requests for one to two weeks to answer the affidavit, ” he said.

Firoz Hussein also applied for two weeks to respond to the affidavit-in-reply to be submitted by the prosecution.

Following which, Justice Mohd Nazlan set Feb 8 to hear the application.

Shahrir is also represented by lawyers Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who is former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, and Syahrul Syazwan Salehin, while Mohd Afif is assisted by deputy public prosecutor Natrah Fareha Rahmad.

Shahrir, 71, is charged with money laundering by not stating his real income in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013, which is a violation of Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967.

He allegedly took the RM1mil, believed to be from unlawful activities, through a cheque dated Nov 27,2013.

The cheque was allegedly deposited into his Public Islamic Bank account on Nov 28,2013.

He was charged with committing the offence at IRB, Duta branch, Government office complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on April 25,2014.

The charge under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering,

Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 provides for a maximum fine of RM5mil, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, if found guilty. — Bernama

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