SINGAPORE (Sept 13): Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has pleaded not guilty to two charges under Malaysia’s anti-money laundering act, for receiving RM4.3 million ($1.4 million) and RM5.2 million from former prime minister Najib Razak.

In addition, he pleaded not guilty to two charges under the Income Tax Act of making incorrect returns by omitting or understating income. 

The lawyer is representing former premier Najib in his corruption case linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and a long-time lawyer for opposition coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

Muhammad Shafee was later granted a bail of RM1 million with two sureties, with RM0.5 million to be paid today, while the remaining RM0.5 million to be paid by Sept 18.

He was also ordered to surrender both Malaysian and diplomatic passports. 

The prosecution was led by former judge Gopal Sri Ram.

However, Muhammad Shafee has told the Sessions Court that he will be filing an application to recuse Seri Gopal, citing conflict of interest.

He added that he has a history with Seri Gopal and  they do not have "a very pleasent relationship". This started back in the late 1970s when Muhammad Shafee was a prosecutor in the Attorney General's Chambers.

To recap, the Malaysian Attorney General’s Chamber on Sept 6 issued an affidavit claiming that the BN lawyer has received payments of about RM9.5 million from Najib between 2013 and 2014.

The payments, allegedly obtained through illegal activities, were said to be for Muhammad Shafee to prosecute president of the People’s Justice Party Anwar Ibrahim in the Sodomy II appeals at the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

Muhammad Shafee has denied the allegations and said the payments were for his legal services rendered to BN and UMNO.