MACC drops charges against Najib’s ex-aide and Umno lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has dropped the charges against Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s former publicist and an Umno lawyer as a settlement has been reached with them.

The MACC, in a statement yesterday, said a settlement has been reached with Paul Geoffrey Stadlen and lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun with the consent of the Attorney General’s Chambers.

MACC said Stadlen agreed to voluntarily release in its entirety RM7,192,873.84 which would be transferred to the trust account of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Stadlen had previously aided former prime minister Najib in his publicity campaigns.

“The matter was decided after taking into account that the amount was justified to be forfeited. Accordingly, the case against him was withdrawn.

“The Attorney General’s Chambers also decided that a RM590,587.26 compound under Section 92 (1) of AMLATFPUAA be imposed on Mohd Hafarizam after taking into account and considering the reasonable reasons including the withdrawal of the case against Stadlen,” said the MACC.

The two were charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) involving RM15mil.

The MACC added that the charge against Mohd Hafarizam was withdrawn after the compound was settled.

“Previously, charges against Stadlen were made without his presence on Feb 20, 2019, while Mohd Hafarizam was charged on Aug 3, 2020 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court,” it said.

Mohd Hafarizam was acquitted by the Sessions Court here yesterday of three money laundering charges involving RM15mil.

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