KUALA LUMPUR : Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor told the High Court today that he had accepted nearly RM1 million in what he called “political donations” from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and the latter’s business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.
Testifying against his former boss who is on trial for corruption, Rizal also admitted to asking RM100,000 from Saidi and Rayyan, of which RM30,000 was paid into the account of his business partner, Datuk Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abiddin.
Under cross-examination from Rosmah’s lead defence lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh, Rizal disclosed that the duo had also paid partly for his and his entire family’s pilgrimage to Mecca in 2016.
Jagjit asked Rizal if he had “no shame” in using purportedly corrupt monies to fund his umrah through chartered flights and first-class accommodations, to which Rizal merely agreed.
Jagjit: You still got the trip sponsored by Saidi and Rayyan?
Rizal: It was partly sponsored.
Jagjit: So you made the trip using corrupt funds?
Rizal: It was a political donation.
Jagjit: Oh, it was a political donation; if it was a political donation from the beginning, then the charges would not be laid against you?
Rizal: I disagree.
Rizal was earlier indicted on four charges of seeking and receiving bribes for himself and Rosmah amounting to RM5.5 million involving the project to supply and install rural school solar energy in Sarawak under Section 16(a) (A) of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
However, the prosecution withdrew the charges in January prior to the start of the trial in February.
The defence lawyer wanted to know if Rizal had also “cut a deal’’ with the prosecution to testify against Rosmah and for his initial charges to be dropped.
Rizal repeatedly disagreed with Jagjit’s assertions that he had cut a deal with the prosecution to testify in court against Rosmah by dropping his graft charges.
Jagjit then pointed out that Rizal’s witness statement had contradicted his plea of not guilty on his graft charges prior to it being dropped.
In the statement, Rizal had admitted to receiving RM500,000 from Saidi and Rayyan as a sign of “appreciation” for his help in securing the solar hybrid project for the duo.
Jagjit then stated that Rizal had “scandalised the court” by giving dishonest statements and accused him of “entering into a criminal conspiracy with the prosecution,” to which Rizal disagreed.
Jagjit then questioned Rizal as to how he could accumulate vast material assets, which included three luxury cars of the make BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, along with a house worth over RM3.5 million, on a monthly government salary of RM7,000.
Jagjit then posited that Rizal could only accumulate such assets through corrupt monies, to which Rizal disagreed.
Rizal maintained that whatever monies he had received were political donations.
Rizal today again reiterated that he was Rosmah’s special officer, stating that his first official designation was as her special functions officer.
In this trial, Rosmah faces several charges including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi on the dates of December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017, in exchange for helping the company get the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.
The trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow.
BY : DANIAL DZULKIFLY – MALAY MAIL