Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said today he had again explained to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on why he was paid RM9.5 million by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, after his related bank account was frozen.
Shafee, who is a senior private lawyer, said he had already explained to the MACC about a year ago regarding the RM9.5 million payment during its routine investigation on the payment which became an issue because of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
“I had brought with me documents showing the files that I have billed and my banking documents to reflect the receipt of the RM9.5 Million and their disbursements,” he said in a six-page press statement today.
As for his recent statement to MACC about the same RM9.5 million issue, Shafee said he had done so after the MACC froze his CIMB bank account that was used to receive the payment and make the disbursements.
“That particular account was frozen by MACC without any notification to me until I found out on my own when some of my cheques bounced and I had to replace them to the relevant payees with other cheques,” he said.
Shafee said his recent further statement to the MACC was made about three weeks ago to a different investigation officer, and that he has a further appointment at his own request to see this officer next Tuesday or Wednesday to show again the related documents such as the files that he has billed for work done.
Earlier in his press statement, Shafee had clarified that the RM9.5 million was not payment for his work as a special prosecutor in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeals.
Shafee explained that the RM9.5 million that he received from Najib was payment for RM11 million worth of legal work that he had done for Barisan Nasional for 46 election petition cases in 2004 and 2006.
Shafee said that he was made to understand that Najib — who was also the then Umno president and then Barisan Nasional chairman — was responsible for handling the party’s funds as it was a normal party practice, and that he had at that time no knowledge of the source of Najib’s payments to him.
“Najib would be able to confirm the reason for the RM9.5 million being paid to me,” he said later in the same statement.