KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― Lawyers for Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor accused a key witness in her corruption trial today of providing testimony conflicting with previous statements.
Defence counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdull Kader expressed suspicion that Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin’s court testimony contradicted the statement he gave to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) about the case involving a RM1.25 billion solar power project in Sarawak.
Akberdin said the defence’s suspicion was aroused when they produced a bank statement showing he withdrew RM1.25 million from his bank account as well as several other transactions ranging from RM150,000 to RM300,000.
The lawyer suggested that Saidi had withdrawn the RM1.25 million to pay for the transactions, which included house and land payments among others, which he then forgot.
However, Saidi denied this and insisted that the money was sent to Rosmah as she requested it through her aide then, Datuk Rizal Mansor.
Another defence lawyer, Azrul Zulkifli Stork, then suggested that Saidi did not have other means to pay for the transactions they highlighted, which the latter rejected.
Azrul: So where did you get the money for those expenses?
Saidi: This RM1.25 million was for Rosmah and I also have other bank accounts. Some are in CIMB bank and some money I keep at home for purposes of paying other expenses. How can it be that I don’t have money at all? I already told the MACC this and like others, they found money in my home too. That’s why I’m saying here that that RM1.25 million was specifically for Rosmah.
When judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan asked the defence why they thought Saidi was contradicting himself, Akberdin said it was based on a suspicion and asked the court to secure Saidi’s statement for comparison.
“We have a hunch that the witness is not telling the truth. That particular statement given to the MACC we would like to produce in court Yang Arif,” Akberdin said.
“He told us before he had no money now he is saying he has money to pay for things. We feel he is not telling the truth so we implore the court to allow us to see the MACC statements and ascertain if it has departed from his original statement.”
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib then objected and accused the defence of grasping.
He argued there was no reason to produce the statements as Saidi has consistently said the RM1.25 million was solely withdrawn for the purposes of handing it over to Rosmah through Rizal.
The DPP then suggested that the defence was on a fishing expedition with the request.
However, the judge said he would entertain the defence in the matter as they would otherwise have no way of knowing for certain.
“As such, I will have a look at the MACC report first and see if there is a contradiction and if impeachment proceedings are necessary,” he added.
Zaini also suggested that the defence file their request as a submission for him to act.
The case resumes on September 7 with lawyer Lawrence Tee expected to take the stand.
In this trial, Rosmah is facing several charges, including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings and Saidi, on December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017, in exchange for helping the company get the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.