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Ahmad Maslan, Shahrir released on bail

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): Pontian Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan and former Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad who were charged in separate sessions courts here today were released on bail.

Ahmad and Sharir, were allowed bail of RM500,000 and RM350,000, respectively, with one surety each and also ordered to surrender their passports to the court.

Earlier Ahmad and Shahrir had been charged with failing to declare their income, involving RM2 million and RM1 million, respectively, which they received from Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Ahmad, 54, and Shahrir, 71, however, pleaded not guilty after charges were read out to them before judge Azman Ahmad and judge Azura Alwi, respectively.

Ahmad also faced another charge, with giving false statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the same issue.

On the charge with failing to declare his income to IRB, Maslan was accused of money laundering by not stating his real income on the RM2 million he received from Najib in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013, and in doing so, had violated Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967.

Ahmad was alleged to have received the money from Najib, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, through an AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque dated Nov 27, 2013, which he (Ahmad) personally cashed on the same day.

The offence was allegedly committed at the IRB, Duta Branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, on April 30, 2014.

On the charge of giving false statements to MACC, Ahmad was alleged to have done so when questioned by MACC investigating officer, Principal Senior Assistant Superintendent Mohd Zairi Zainal, over the issue at the media conference room, Parliament Building, Jalan Parlimen here, between 2.45pm and 3.30pm on July 4, 2019.

The alleged false statements were:-

1. “Pertaining to this case, I confirmed that I have never received any payment, in the form of a cheque or cash of RM2 million from Najib”.

2. “I confirmed that I have never seen the cheque that was showed to me prior to this. I also confirmed that I have never received the cheque from Najib or anyone else. I confirmed that I had never cashed the cheque at any banks for myself”.

3. “I did not know about it and had never cashed any cheque belonging to Najib”.

4. “I don’t know because I never received funds from Najib”.

5. “I know, but I did not receive any funds from Najib, like the cheque concerned”.

The charge, framed under Section 32(8)c) of the of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM3 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Shahrir was charged with money laundering for failing to declare to IRB the RM1 million, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib through a AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque dated Nov 27, 2013 and deposited into his Public Islamic Bank account the following day ( Nov 28, 2013).

He was charged with committing the offence at IRB, Duta branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on Apr 25, 2014.

The money laundering charges against Ahmad and Shahrir were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which provides a maximum fine of RM5 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.

Deputy public prosecutors Norzilati Izhani Zainal @ Zainol and Nik Haslinie Hashim prosecuted in both cases.

Lawyers Hamidi Mohd Noh, Md Yunos Shariff, Mohd Shahrul Fazli, Aiman Abdul Rahman, Azlan Abd Roni and Mohd Shahril Madisa represented Ahmad, while Shahrir was represented by lawyers Syahrul Syazwan Salehin, Fahmi Abd Moin and Datuk Shaharudin Ali.

The court set Feb 21 and 24 for mention.

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