KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Former Felda Chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad, who is facing a charge with failing to declare the RM1 million received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has applied to recuse High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali from hearing his application to transfer the case from the Court Session to the High Court.
His lawyer, Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, who represented Shahrir, told the court that he filed the application after receiving instructions from his client to do so.
Based on the affidavit filed on Dec 17, Shahrir applied to the court for an order for Judge 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 (danger) of bias”.
“Through the charges filed against me, I have been accused of receiving income from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak amounting to RM1 million through an AmIslamic Bank Berhad 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, decided, and sentenced Datuk Seri Najib in the (SRC) 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 to the application.
“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 submitted by the prosecution.
Following which, Judge Mohd Nazlan set Feb 8 to hear the application.
Shahrir is also represented by lawyers Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who is the former Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), 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, on the RM1 million, believed to be from unlawful activities which he received from Najib through an AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque dated Nov 27, 2013.
The cheque was then deposited into his (Shahrir) 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, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM5 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.