Umno lawyer facing RM15m money laundering charges changes bailor


KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): Umno lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, who is facing two counts of money laundering of RM15 million, today changed his bailor following the split up of his legal firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak (HWAM).

His lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, who appeared with Datuk M Reza Hassan, informed the court that Aisha wants to discharge herself as guaranteeing for bail for Hafarizam as the firm had already split.

Hasnal further introduced the new bailor Noor Arlisma Zainul Ariff, who was also a partner at the law firm, to Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad.

After Azman reminded Noor Arlisma of her duties as a bailor, to which she agreed, the judge then allowed the change of bailor but maintained the same conditions that bail be kept at RM500,000 with one surety.

He also fixed April 24 for pre-trial conference.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusof, who is also the deputy head of prosecution at the Attorney General's Chambers, appeared for the prosecution.

Mohd Hafarizam claimed trial at the Sessions Court on Feb 21 to two counts of money laundering amounting to RM15 million.

Mohd Hafarizam, 47, was charged with depositing RM11.5 million, which were proceeds of unlawful activity, via two AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheques written by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak into the client account of his law firm HWAM.

The offence was alleged to have been committed between April 16 and Nov 4, 2014 at CIMB Bank's Putra World Trade Centre branch.

The lawyer also faces a second charge with depositing a sum of RM3.5 million via a cheque written by Najib into the same account.

The offence was alleged to have been committed at the same place on Feb 12, 2015. Under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The lawyer faces a maximum jail term of up to 15 years and could be fined at least five times the sum or value of the proceeds of the unlawful activity for each charge.

Hasnal told reporters after the proceeding that for the time being, they would not be applying for the case to be transferred to the High Court.

"This follows that Hafarizam is supposed to be jointly tried with Najib's former media adviser Paul Geoffrey Stadlen, which is linked to Hafarizam's case," he said.

Ishak also told reporters that for now, the prosecution would not be applying for the case to be transferred to the High Court. —

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