Court of Appeal returns lawyer Shafee’s passport

Court of Appeal returns lawyer Shafee’s passport

PUCHONG: Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is facing money laundering charges, won his bid to reclaim his passport to travel to Australia to meet his client.

The Court of Appeal three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah allowed Shafee back his passport to travel to Australia between June 24 and July 1.

In the unanimous ruling, Justice Ahmadi said that there was a real need for Shafee to be in Australia to engage with the solicitors and his client there.

“We are in the view that the accused in the Australian case is entitled to have a solicitor of his own choice.

“And the prosecution had failed to show evidence that Shafee is a flight risk,” he said.

Shafee, who is facing two money laundering charges worth RM9.5 million, applied for his passport to be returned so that he can travel to Australia to represent a client facing drug trafficking charges there.

Last month, the High Court dismissed Shafee’s application saying Shafee can send someone from his firm to represent the client Down Under.

Shafee’s counsel, Harvinderjit Singh told the Court of Appeal today that Shafee would return his passport to the court by July 3 and report his return from Australia.

He also said that Shafee had travelled four times after being slapped with the charges and still returned back to Malaysia.

“He has three wives. His family are all here. There is no reason for him not to come back,” said Harvinderjit.  

On related matter, deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz said he would consult the Attorney-General’s Chambers before deciding the next course of action.

By G Vinod