Tommy Thomas insisted that MACC prosecute Shahrir despite incomplete investigation, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here was told that former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas insisted that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) prosecute Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad even though the investigation paper (IP) on his case was incomplete.

MACC investigating officer Nurzahidah Yacop, 35, said she received the instruction, with permission given by Thomas on Jan 15, 2020, to charge the former Felda chairman, although the IP on the case were still incomplete.

She said this when cross-examined by the lawyer representing Shahrir, Datuk Syed Faisal Al-Edros Syed Abdullah Al-Edros, at the trial of the former Johor Bahru MP who is facing a charge of failing to declare RM1mil received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Earlier, to a question by Syed Faisal Al-Edros, Nurzahidah said she agreed with the lawyer that based on transactions in Shahrir’s bank account book, he had used his personal money of over RM2.6mil for political activities before receiving the RM1mil from Najib on Nov 28, 2013.

However, the MACC assistant superintendent admitted that she never investigated the RM1mil that Shahrir received from Najib even though Shahrir insisted eight times during the investigation in 2019 that the money was to replace his pension.

According to Nurzahidah, she did inform her superiors about it, but she was not instructed to investigate the matter.

Syed Faisal Al-Edros: In your opinion as a MACC investigating officer, Is it fair for my client that an investigation was not conducted on the matter, even though he (Shahrir) repeatedly said it was to replace his money.

Nurzahidah: It is not fair for Tan Sri Shahrir, but I never received the document (withdrawal of RM2.6mil). My investigation was after the date of receipt of the RM1mil.

Questioned by Syed Faisal Al-Edros whether she felt suspicious about the action of his superiors in not ordering her to investigate about it, Nurzahidah said “Yes”.

On Thursday (Dec 22), the witness told the court that the RM1mil received by Shahrir from Najib was to replace his pension money which was used for political activities in the Johor Bahru parliamentary constituency.

Shahrir, 72, was charged on Jan 21, 2020, with money laundering by not stating his real income in the income tax return form for the assessment year 2013, on the RM1mil, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib through a AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque, dated Nov 27, 2013.

In doing so, he had violated Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, on the RM1mil, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib.

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

The charge, under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, provides imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of RM5mil, or both, if convicted.

The hearing before judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues on Jan 5. – Bernama