KUALA LUMPUR: A journalist told the High Court she processed a statement from prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (pic) in which he claimed to have received RM9.5mil from Datuk Seri Najib Razak as legal fees for handling Barisan Nasional election petition cases.
Lim Lee Ting, 32, a senior correspondent with Malay Mail, testified that she received the press statement – titled “Press Statement of Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah Pertaining to the RM9.5 Million” – in PDF format through WhatsApp from Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee at 4.20pm on Sept 8,2018.
“I then sent the PDF to the editors as I know that Muhammad Farhan, who is Muhammad Shafee’s son, is a credible source, ” she said in her witness statement here yesterday.
She was testifying in the money laundering trial of Shafee, who is accused of four charges involving RM9.5mil.
Lim said she wrote four news reports based on the statement which were published on the Malay Mail website on the same day.
The reports stated, among others, that Shafee claimed the RM9.5mil he received from Najib was not the fees for prosecuting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy case. Instead, it was legal fees for 46 election petition cases involving Barisan Nasional and Umno for the years 2004 and 2006.
“A few days later, I found out through a colleague’s news report entitled ‘Shafee hit with four charges over RM9.5mil from Najib’ that Shafee had been charged at the Kuala Lumpur court over the RM9.5mil issue, ” Lim said.
On Oct 23,2018, Lim said she was contacted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to confirm the press statement she received from Farhan.
A meeting with the MACC was held on Oct 30,2018, at Lim’s office where she met with investigating officer Mohamad Farid Jabar.
Lim said she was shown a nine-page press statement with nine paragraphs and signed by Shafee.
The hearing continues on June 4 before Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin.