In court, ex-aide Rizal claims RM5m to Rosmah was ‘political donation’ to Najib for BN elections

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 15, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 15, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — A RM5 million fund given by Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in 2016 was actually a “political donation” to her husband, then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and meant to finance the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s election campaigns, the High Court heard today.

Back in the witness stand was Rosmah’s former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor testifying for the prosecution against his former boss who continued to shed more light on her purported close involvement in political matters related to the then ruling BN.

Under questioning from lead defence lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh, Rizal affirmed to the court that Rosmah was not the intended final recipient of the RM5 million from Jepak Holdings; instead, she was to hand over the funds to Najib to be used in the general election that was eventually held in 2018. 

Jagjit: Would you agree based on the evidence the political donation was meant for Najib to be use for the forthcoming general elections?

Rizal: Yes, I agree. 

Prior to Rizal taking the stand, both Jepak Holding managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah had also testified in court, apart from delivering RM5 million to Rosmah personally, they had also intended to provide poltical donation to Najib due to his role in facilitating them in securing the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project in Sarawak.

Saidi had also testified previously that he had intended to provide political donations to Najib, through Rosmah. 

However, Rizal disagreed with Jagjit’s assertions that Rosmah did not play a direct role in soliciting or negotiated the amount of the political donation that was to be given by Jepak Holdings.

Jagjit had earlier posited that Rizal negotiated the amount of political donation from 10 to 17 per cent of the project value for himself, which he disagreed.

Jagjit also suggested that Rizal pocketed the RM5 million meant for political donation from Jepak Holdings to Najib, which Rizal also denied.

Jagjit: It defies logic for you to say Rosmah increased the amount when it was not meant for her but was meant for Najib to be used for the general election.  

Rizal: I strongly disagree.

Jagjit: The donation solicited and received from Jepak, Saidi and Rayyan were transferred through you, then through Rosmah and then finally to be given to Najib.

Rizal: I cannot confirm.

Jagjit: But in your evidence, it says that it was meant for political donation meant for Najib.

Rizal: Purpose is for Najib, yes but execution cannot confirm.

In his statement, Rizal stated the Rosmah had directly asked him to negotiate the amount of political donation from Jepak Holding of 15 per cent to 17 per cent.

Rizal even stated that he had told Rosmah that the amount she suggested was “too much”.

Rosmah’s former aide had also admitted that he had solicited RM25 million, payable of RM5 million per year for five years, from Saidi and Rayyan, for his facilitation in securing the solar hybrid project.

Rizal stated that he had received RM500,000 from the duo sometime in December 2016, as part of the RM5 million a year payment.

On the day, Rizal recalled that Saidi had called him, stating that he wanted to send “Musang King durian” to him, a code word that lawyer Jagjit suggested meant corrupt monies, to which Rosmah’s former aide had agreed.

In this trial, Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes from Saidi, of accepting a RM1.5 million bribe directly from him and a separate RM5 million bribe via Rizal, in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings win a RM1.25 billion solar energy project from the Education Ministry.

Rizal was previously charged with allegedly helping Rosmah ask for a RM187.5 million bribe from Saidi and for allegedly seeking a smaller sum of RM25 million for himself, and also with allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe from Saidi on behalf of Rosmah and for allegedly receiving a RM500,000 bribe from Saidi for himself.

Rizal had been scheduled to be jointly tried with Rosmah, but the prosecution withdrew the charges against him in January, before the start of the trial.

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