Ku Nan to know fate in RM2m bribery trial on Nov 17

Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on September 23, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on September 23, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — The High Court will decide on November 17 former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s guilt or innocence on his charge of accepting a RM2 million bribe from a businessman three years ago.

High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed the date after hearing oral submissions from both sides at the close of the defence stage today.

“I will try to deliver my decision by the date given. The decision, tentatively, is to be delivered on November 17,” he said, adding that he would inform both parties beforehand if he was required to attend any prior commitments around that time.

Mohamed Zaini also instructed both sides to send in their written submissions before October 7 on the admissibility of documents related to the expenditure for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections in 2016.

Earlier, lead prosecutor Julia Ibrahim told the court that the former minister commonly called Ku Nan has failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.

During her submission, she said the receipts purporting that the RM2 million to be a political donation was dubious because the carbon copies were missing.

Julia also pointed out that defence did not call any witness who may have direct knowledge on the whereabouts of the carbon copies to testify.

Defence lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, who was representing Tengku Adnan, maintained that the official receipt from Umno for RM2 million issued to Chai was not a forgery as suggested by the prosecution.

“It is not disputed that my client received the cheque from Tan Sri Chai, who is also the 19th prosecution witness few days before the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections which were held on June 18, 2016. Tan Sri Chai received the Umno official receipt around June 14, 2016,” Tan said, adding that the receipt was original and always in Chai’s possession.

Tan also said prosecution witness Farahdzilah Abd Kadir, who is deputy chief of Financial Management Department from the Umno headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre, clearly testified that the Umno official receipts and the receipt book were used at random and accessible by many parties.

“This could explain why the dates in the receipt book did not follow the sequence,” Tan added.

According to the charge sheet, Tengku Adnan, 68, as a public servant, namely, Federal Territories Minister, has accepted for himself RM2 million from Chai Kin Kong via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd which was later deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holding Sdn Bhd in which he had an interest, when it was known that Aset Kayamas had connection with his official duties.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at CIMB Bank Berhad, Pusat Bandar Damansara Branch here on June 14, 2016.

The charge, framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, provides for a jail term of up to two years or fine or both, upon conviction.

In the opening statement, prosecutors had told the High Court it will furnish evidence showing Tengku Adnan allegedly sought between RM5 million to RM6 million from a Chai for by-election funds and received RM2 million.

On October 14, 2019, Tengku Adnan was ordered by the High Court to enter his defence and answer his charge after finding that the prosecution successfully proved prima facie against him.

In his defence, Tengku Adnan had maintained that the RM2 million was Chai’s political donation to Federal Territories Umno for use in the 2016 by-elections of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.

He testified that he had as chairman of Federal Territories Umno and Federal Territories Barisan Nasional needed to raise funds for use in the two by-elections, and that he had in early June 2016 told Chai that Federal Territories Umno and BN needed about RM5 million for the by-elections and had asked Chai for a donation.

Tengku Adnan also said previously that political donations were generally in cash due to the need to pay for election campaign expenses, but noted Chai had given him a cheque instead due to the difficulty in raising cash in a short time.

Tengku Adnan previously said he had asked Chai to write the RM2 million cheque out to Tadmansori Holdings as he had already used his own money first for Umno’s campaign and related by-election expenses.

Tengku Adnan had said that Chai had been making donations to Umno and BN since he was appointed Umno chief secretary in 1999, while also insisting that he had never intended to receive the RM2 million for himself and that he did not need the RM2 million as he was already a successful businessman before joining the Cabinet.

The trial began on July 2, 2019 with 23 prosecution witnesses including two former Kuala Lumpur mayors Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib and Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, and Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd managing director Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, called in to testify.

Separately, four defence witnesses including Tengku Adnan himself took to the stand.

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