KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The High Court here today allowed an application by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for temporary access to his passport to enable him to travel to Australia for a meeting with a Queen’s Counsel from the United Kingdom.
Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed the release of the lawyer’s passport from this Sept 6 to 12 after deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz did not object to the application.
Earlier, Muhammad Shafee told the court that there were some corrections in the supporting affidavit in his application for the passport, which had been submitted to the court as a bail condition.
“In the affidavit, I only stated that I’ll meet the Queen’s Counsel, Geoffrey Robertson, in Melbourne. I ask Your Honor for permission to amend it by adding Sydney as the location of the meeting.
“This is because Geoffrey Robertson has a house in Melbourne, but he operates from his brother’s firm at Martin place Sydney, so I may have to go to both places,” he said.
His lawyer, Wee Yeong Kang, then requested the court to allow his client access to his passport for travel between Sept 6 to 12, 2022 and for it to be returned to the court on Sept 14, 2022.
Prior to this, Muhammad Shafee, who was the lead counsel in former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s cases relating to SRC International Sdn Bhd and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), had been allowed to travel abroad on several occasions after he was charged in court.
The 70-year-old lawyer surrendered his passport to the court in September 2018 after he was charged with two counts of receiving money amounting to RM9.5 million, allegedly from illegal activities, through two cheques issued by Najib which were deposited into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.
Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of engaging in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns and in violation of Paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013, and Dec 31, 2014.
On May 12, the prosecution closed the case after calling eight witnesses. The oral submission has been fixed for this Sept 15 before judge Muhammad Jamil.