KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Lawyers defending Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in his corruption case told the High Court today that RM2 million given by a businessman to the former Federal Territories Minister was a political donation for the by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, and not for the accused himself.
Lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, who is leading the defence team, said the matter was revealed by the star prosecution witness Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, director of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd (AKSB), in his witness statement that the RM2 million cheque was made by him as a political donation to Umno for expenses in the by-elections in 2016.
“It is very important to note that Chai, who is also the 19th prosecution witness (SP19), was not re-examined by the prosecution on his evidence that the sum of RM2 million was a political donation and not for the accused.
“Failure by the prosecution to re-examine on this issue amounts to an acceptance of the witness’s testimony,” the lawyer said, adding that the prosecution failed to prove the charge against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Tan who made the argument at the end of defence case, said that SP6 who was Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Hasbi Jaafar testified that the accused also informed him that the money was a political donation.
“Mohd Hasbi said he received a WhatsApp text from the accused showing the deposit slip of the RM2 million from Aset Kayamas to Tadmansori.
“He was told by the accused that the RM2 million cheque was a political donation for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tan said SP23, Muhammad Saad Bordani, who was the investigating officer, also confirmed that Chai and Tengku Adnan had informed him (Muhammad Saad) when their statements were recorded that the RM2 million cheque was a political donation for Umno’s expenses in two by-elections.
Tan in his submission further said that the evidence of his client (Tengku Adnan), Datuk Mohd Rafi Alli Hassan, who is the second defence witness (SD2), Datuk Rizalman Mokhtar (SD3) and Datuk Zakaria Dullah (SD4) on the issue of political donation ought to be accepted by this court.
“This means that there was in fact a cash advance from the accused and the money was spent for the two by-elections. The accused advanced his own money after he had earmarked the political donation from Chai to be used for this purpose,” he said.
The lawyer also submitted that the banking of the cheque into the account of Tadmansori Holdings did not lead to an irresistible conclusion that the accused had committed the offence.
“In the instant case, the prosecution’s case is founded on the basis that the cheque was banked into the account of Tadmansori. This per se is insufficient to convict the accused as it is circumstantial evidence which does not point irresistibly to the guilt of the accused,” he said.
Tan said it was not disputed that the RM2 million cheque was deposited into Tadmansori’s account.
“If the accused had accepted the RM2 million cheque for himself, it was very unlikely that he would deposit the cheque into the account of Tadmansori as the payment could be easily traced. This was an open transaction with negated any criminal intent for the payment,” said the lawyer.
Tan further said that the accused respectfully urged this court to consider his financial means, which was not challenged by the prosecution in support of his evidence that he did not have any means to commit the offence.
“On the contrary, the accused had frequently used his own money to make financial contributions to Barisan Nasional and Umno, which was supported by the evidence of SD2, SD3 and SD4.
“According to SD3 and SD4, the money which was handed over to them by the accused totalling RM2.02,800.00 had all been spent in the said by-elections for carrying out campaigning for the candidates,” he said.
Tengku Adnan, 69, also known as Ku Nan, was charged in his capacity as a public servant, namely, the Federal Territories Minister then, with having accepted for himself RM2 million from Chai via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to AKSB, which was later deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings in which he had an interest, when it was known that Aset Kayamas had connection with his official duties.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Pusat Bandar Damansara branch of CIMB Bank Berhad, here, on June 14, 2016.
The Putrajaya MP was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both, if convicted.
On October 14 last year, the High Court ordered him to enter his defence on the charge after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie in the case.
Tengku Adnan chose to testify under oath from the witness stand when the defence proceedings commenced last January 17 and completed giving his evidence on March 5.
The defence will continue their submission on September 18 before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan. — Bernama