KUALA LUMPUR: A former aide to Rosmah Mansor has dismissed a claim by the defence that he had pocketed a RM5 million political donation meant for ex-prime minister Najib Razak, from a company that won a contract to carry out the solar hybrid project in rural Sarawak schools.
Rizal Mansor also denied a claim made by defence counsel Jagjit Singh that he obtained a “bonus” of RM500,000 from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.
The prosecution’s main witness made the denial during a cross-examination.
Jagjit: I put it to you that you pocketed the RM5 million (on Dec 20, 2016) meant as a political donation to (then prime minister) Najib.
Rizal: I deny the suggestion.
Jagjit: Saidin and Rayyan then came to your house (on Dec 23, 2016) to pay you RM500,000 which is part of a RM5 million meant for you.
Rizal: Yes, to deliver to the “Musang King”.
The witness added that the code word “Musang King” was used to describe dirty money.
The defence’s stand is that Rosmah did not solicit and receive any bribe from Saidi and Rayyan.
In his witness statement, Rizal said Saidi and Rayyan had told him to inform Rosmah they were offering political contributions because they were grateful to Najib for approving the project.
Saidi had also testified that he offered the donation to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) through Rosmah as he was unable to meet Najib in person.
He said he offered 10% of the total project cost (of RM1.25 billion) as a donation to help ensure Umno and BN were politically stable.
Jagjit today suggested that Rizal had called Saidi a day or two before the RM5 million was delivered.
Rizal said he saw Saidi bringing down two luggage bags with the assistance of his driver and an escort after he (Saidi) withdrew the money from a bank.
The money was initially to be handed to lawyer Lawrence Tee at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur but there was a change in plan as the counsel refused to accept it.
Rizal said he then called Rosmah to narrate what had transpired and she instructed him to deliver the money to Seri Perdana, the official residence of the prime minister in Putrajaya, as she was at home.
Rizal said two butlers there collected the bags and he went to meet Rosmah.
“She asked me ‘how much’ and I replied ‘five’,” he said, adding that he was indicating RM5 million.
He said Rosmah did not open the bags but instructed the butlers to take it to her room.
Continuing with the cross-examination, Jagjit suggested that Rizal’s testimony about delivering the money to Rosmah was a lie and was made to strike a deal with the prosecution to implicate the accused.
But, Rizal vehemently denied the suggestion.
However, he agreed with Jagjit that the RM5 million was not delivered to the right party.
Rosmah is charged with three counts of corruption for soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi as an inducement to help the company secure the project through direct negotiation with the education ministry.
She is also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.
Hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan is adjourned to Thursday.