KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): Malay Mail senior correspondent Ida Lim Lee Ting confirmed at the High Court today that she in 2018 wrote four news articles based on lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's (pictured) press statement, which was issued in response to allegations that the RM9.5 million he received from ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was for his services as an ad hoc prosecutor for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II appeals.

Lim, who was testifying today before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin, said she on Sept 8, 2018 received the six-page-long press statement "via WhatsApp" from Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, who is Shafee's son.

According to Lim, the press statement entitled "Press Statement of Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah pertaining to the RM9.5 million" was written by Shafee himself.

Lim said the press statement was legitimate as it was received from Shafee's son.

Lim said: "The press statement was relevant because it involved individuals and parties such as Shafee, Najib, Anwar, BN (Barisan Nasional) and UMNO."

On Sept 8, 2018, Malay Mail, quoting Shafee's six-page statement, reported Shafee clarified then that the RM9.5 million paid by Najib to Shafee was not for the task of being lead prosecutor in Anwar's Sodomy II appeals, but for unpaid work for BN in election petition cases.

"I told him (Najib) the total fees would be in the region of not less than RM20 million but I was not asking for all that," Shafee was quoted as saying.

It was reported that Shafee had asked for payment for RM11 million worth of work, hence the RM9.5 million being paid by Najib to Shafee.

According to the news report, Shafee's statement then was made after a renewed controversy on the reason for his RM9.5 million payment from Najib in the past. It was reported that Anwar questioned the payment, which was alleged to have been made during the time frame when Shafee was acting as the lead prosecutor in the Sodomy II appeals.

At the High Court today, representing Shafee was lawyer Harvinderjit Singh.

Shafee is facing two money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million, which the prosecution alleged was received from Najib.

Shafee is also facing two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia (IRB).

On the money laundering charges involving the RM9.5 million, the prosecution alleged that Shafee received the payment in two tranches comprising a RM4.3 million portion in 2013 and a RM5.2 million portion in 2014.

New reports indicated that on Sept 13, 2018, Shafee, who was charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, pleaded not guilty to the charges of receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib.

It was reported that the money was remitted into Shafee's CIMB Bank Bhd account.

According to news reports, the prosecution alleged that Shafee received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013 and another cheque for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.

It was reported that Shafee was alleged to have committed both offences at CIMB Bank's branch, which bears the address J2 & K1, Taman Tunku in Bukit Tunku here.

It was reported that Shafee was also charged under the Income Tax Act 1967 under which he faces two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity by making inaccurate statements to the IRB.

According to news reports, Shafee was alleged to have committed the offences at IRB's Duta branch along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here.

Today's High Court trial before Muhammad Jamil will resume next Friday (June 4).

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