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Najib accuses gov't of spooking lawyers, denying him fair trial
Published:  Sep 13, 2018 10:49 AM
Updated: 10:52 AM

Former premier Najib Abdul Razak has described the charges against his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is an attempt to deny him a fair trial.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, he also claimed that the move was aimed at intimidating or disqualifying Shafee and to discourage other lawyers from representing him.

Najib said that hauling Shafee to court on payments for legal services rendered "sets a very dangerous legal precedent for all lawyers, professionals and businesses.”

"No one will be safe if the government chooses to victimise or to politically persecute you," he added.

Earlier today, Shafee was charged with two counts of money laundering, and another two counts of making false statements at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

The senior lawyer had also claimed that he was being victimised.

The money laundering charges pertain to the RM9.5 million he received from a bank account belonging to Najib, while the false statements charge concerned him omitting the income received from Najib in his statements made to the Inland Revenue Board.

The prosecution claims the source of Najib's funds allegedly came from "proceeds of unlawful activities".

He pleaded not guilty to all four charges and is currently out on an RM1 million bail with two sureties.

Speaking to reporters later, Shafee reiterated that the RM9.5 million was payment for cases in which he represented BN and Umno.

'Timing surprising'

Meanwhile, Najib questioned the timing of Shafee's charging, which comes just days after his claim that it was Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had pushed for him to be made the lead prosecutor in PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II trial.

The former premier pointed out that neither Mahathir nor his aides or the previous attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail have commented or denied Shafee's claims.

"The timing of Shafee's charges is also surprising as I have yet to be interviewed by the MACC, or had a chance to submit my documents over this case.

"This means that investigations were clearly not complete before Shafee was charged," he added.

He then noted that Shafee was also booked after charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and other Pakatan Harapan-aligned leaders were dropped in the last few months.

Najib also noted how the Attorney-General's Chambers' (AGC) has appointed two outside lawyers to lead the prosecution against him and this ran contrary to Harapan's previous complaints that the AGC should never have appointed Shafee to act as a prosecutor in Anwar's case.

He then reiterated that the amount in his personal bank account was a political donation from Saudi Arabian sources.

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