The letter, according to Saifuddin Nasution (PKR-Machang), was addressed to Chief Justice Tan Sri Ariffin Zakaria, Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif Chief Judge Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin on March 23, and seeks for a postponement of Shafee's cases from April 2 to 25.
The lawmaker, who exposed the matter when debating amendments to the Penal Code, read several paragraphs of the letter in his possession.
“We write to Yang Amat Arif on the above matter as we seek to appraise Your Lordships of a specific development whereby Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has been appointed on behalf of the government of Malaysia, in particular by Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and Datin Paduka Sri Rosmah Mansor, to undertake a sensitive legal assignment overseas that must be completed before the general elections (which is rumoured to be very soon),” he read.
“The nature of this legal assignment is confidential, at present. But, if required, Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah can be present personally to see Yang Amat Arif-Yang Amat Arif for an explanation of the nature of this legal assignment,” he added.
According to Saifuddin, the letter also states that as a result of the “assignment”, Shafee would have to travel to several cities abroad including New York, London, Dubai, Paris and Basel.
He did not, however, read the letter in full or reveal the purpose of Shafee's alleged “sensitive legal assignment”.
Saifuddin connected the matter earlier to the ongoing debates on amendments to the Penal Code by asking if possession of such a document would be considered as detrimental to “parliamentary democracy”, a point in the proposed Bill that lawmakers have been locked in debates all afternoon over.
“Would the person in possession of such a document be charged under provisions of it being detrimental to parliamentary democracy?” he asked the House.
Interjecting, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said he would not be able to comment on the issue as he was unsure of the letter's authenticity.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who was presiding over policy stage debates at the point, then warned Saifuddin to verify the documents in his possession.
“I have done my homework. I am confident of the authenticity of the documents,” Saifuddin said in response.
When winding up debates on the Bill later, Nazri told the House that the government had not appointed Shafee for the alleged mission abroad, pointing out that the purported letter had mentioned Rosmah's name.
“This is not a government appointment because the government cannot appoint a lawyer to represent the prime minister's wife,” he said.
When asked by R. Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) whether Shafee had then committed an offence by claiming his appointment was by the government, Nazri noted that the latter may have committed “misrepresentation”.
“But it is not against the Constitution and has nothing to do with this Act,” he said.
He also said it was likely that the matter was merely the personal actions of the prime minister's private lawyer.
Recent media reports have pinned Najib to the ongoing Scorpene submarine sale probe by French authorities, which has also been linked to the case of murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Altantuya's one-time lover Abdul Razak Baginda, who was said to be a close associate of Najib, was acquitted of a charge of abetting two Special Action Squad members – Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar – to commit the murder in 2006.
The murder was committed between 10pm on October 19, 2006, and 1am the following day at a clearing in Shah Alam's Mukim Bukit Raja.
Last week, Altantuya's father Dr Setev Shaariibuu told a press conference in Petaling Jaya that he had offered himself as a witness in the Scorpene submarine probe, claiming that his testimony would be able to “connect the dots” between her death and the Scorpene” case, which will be heard in a French court soon.- malaysia insider
Mystery overseas assignment for Shafee
High profile Umno lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has been appointed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor for a confidential overseas assignment from April 2 to 25.
He has requested for all his cases from April 2 to 25 to be vacated in a letter dated Mar 23, and addressed to Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria, Court of Appeal president Md Raus Sharif, and Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, and copies sent to the prime minister and his wife.
Portions of the letter were revealed to the Dewan Rakyat by Saifuddin Nasution (PKR-Machang) (left) during the debate on the Penal Code (Amendments) 2012 today.
Shafee said he had been "appointed on behalf of the government of Malaysia, in particular Najib and Rosmah, to undertake a sensitive legal assignment overseas that must be completed before the general election.
"This would entail travel to three cities - New York, London and Dubai, and possibly Paris, for a span of at least three weeks, and over this course of time (I) would be involved in intensive legal preparations such as negotiating with parties and their witnesses, drafting claims and affidavits and interviewing witnesses who are in New York, London, Paris or Basel (Switzerland)."
There is speculation that Shafee's trip may have links with the ongoing French investigation on alleged corruption into the purchase of two Scorpene submarines by Malaysia, which may also cast more light on the murder of aspiring model and translator Altantuya Sharibuu, six years ago.
The opposition MP then attempted to link the matter to amendments in the Penal Code, which was in debate, referring to 'activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy'.
"If a person were to possess a document which details that a lawyer engaged by the prime minister had sent a letter to the Chief Justice of Malaysia asking that his cases be adjourned because he is embarking on a sensitive legal assignment which must be finished before the general election and requires him to go to cities around the world like Paris, New York, Basel and Dubai, can the person being in possession of such document can be judged under provisions of detrimental to parliamentary democracy?" he asked.
Saifuddin, at first, did not mention the identity of the lawyer involved. However after being pressed by Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), claimed that Shafee was acting on the instructions of Najib and Rosmah.
No comment till letter verified
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, in an immediate response, said he could not comment on the issue until the letter was verified. This prompted, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee, who was presiding during the debate, to warn Saifuddin to be certain of the authenticity and the veracity of the document cited.
Saifuddin confidently stood up and said he had done his homework and assured that the alleged letter was sent from Shafee's office.
In winding up the policy stage debate, R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) intervened to bring up the topic again to Nazri. The de factor law minister then denied Shafee was engaged by the government of Malaysia.
"We never appointed him. That was clear when the name of the prime minister's wife was mentioned.
"The government cannot appoint a lawyer to represent the prime minister's wife," said Nazri.
Pressing further, Sivarasa then asked Nazri if the lawyer had committed an offence, and who replied:"He might have misrepresented himself, but this is not unconstitutional."
Therefore, the minister said that Shafee's alleged "misrepresentation" does not relate to 'activities that were detrimental to parliamentary democracy' which was being discussed under the Penal Code amendments.
He described the contents of the letter as a "personal action of the prime minister's private lawyer".
The amendment to the Penal Code, which is currently in its committee stage, was tabled together with the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the Evidence Act which complements the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Bill.
After two days of intense debate the Security Offences Bill, a replacement to the archaic Internal Security Act 1960, was passed today.-malaysiakini
Tugasan seberang laut yang penuh misteri oleh peguam Shafee...
Sebahagian daripada surat tersebut telah didedahkan dalam sidang Parlimen oleh YB.Saifuddin Nasution (PKR-Machang) ketika Parlimen sedang berbahas rang undang2 Penal Code(Pindaan) 2012 hari ini.
Shafee berkata bahawa dia telah dilantik bagi pihak kerajaan Malaysia, khususnya Najib dan Rosmah, bagi menjalankan satu tugasan perundangan yang sensitive di seberang laut yang perlu diselesaikan sebelum PRU ini.
Tugas ini membolehkan dia melawat ke 3 buah kotaraya – New York,London dan Dubai dan kemungkinan Paris bagi jangkamasa 3 minggu dan melibatkan diri bagi menyediakan hal2 bersangkutan dengan perihal perundangan secara rapi seperti membincang dengan pihak2 tertentu serta saksi2 mereka,menyediakan ‘claims and affidavits’ dan menemuramah saksi2 di New York,London,Paris atau Basel(Switzerland).
Adalah difahamkan bahawa lawatan Shafee ini berhubungkait dengan siasatan yang berterusan oleh kerajaan Perancis tentang kemungkinan berlakunya rasuah ketika pembelian dua kapal selam Scorpene oleh Malaysia, dan mungkin juga memberi gambaran yang lebih jelas lagi tentang pembunuhan model dan juru terjemah Altantuya Sharibuu 6 tahun lalu.(sebahagian daripada terjemahan article Malaysiakini berjudul 'Mystery overseas assignment for Shafee' oleh Tumpang Sekole)
Ferdtan - Shafee misrepresented to none other than to our three top judges,Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria, Court of Appeal president MD Raus Sharif, and the Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin that he acted on behalf of the government. He requested (instructed?), dropping the PM's name, that all his cases in court be vacated from April 2 to 25. We challenge the country's three top judges to come out in public to clarify whether they did receive the said letter from Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, supposedly a personal lawyer for Najib and Rosmah.If this is true it is audacious of a mere private lawyer to tell the judges to do his unlawful bidding - even if he claimed to represent the PM and his wife in his private capacity.Are our judges really independent? We have to wait and see.If all the Shafee's cases in court were to be miraculously postponed, then we know for sure, the 'coincidence' is definitely 'arranged'. I dare not keep my fingers crossed, knowing the judiciary that we have.
Unspin - We cannot rule out the possibility that Shafee is jet-setting around the world to cover or muddy up the money trail for Najib and Rosmah before the French investigation begun – at taxpayers’ expense of course.
Anonymous #28722098 - Wake up people !!! Safhee is sent out there to negotiate with the French and the rest to neutralise the case. This is normal for Umno and the the Royalties. Going on for about 35 years since Rzaksthan's time and later fine tuned by Mahathirsmn.
Rakyat Malaysia - Shafee is going to close all the loose ends by using our taxpayers money? I wonder how much it will cost to do this before the GE13 in June.
minahkerang - Ini tugas rasmikah? Kalau tugas rasmi duit rakyatlah dia guna. Tapi siasatan ini berkait dengan skandal Scorpene dan sepatutnya kos ditanggung Najib!!!
Plainly - Possibly Paris ........ to see whether can pay somebody to ' cover up ' his acquaintance with Altantooyah ???