KUALA LUMPUR: Rizal Mansor, the former aide of Rosmah Mansor, who testified for the prosecution in her corruption trial, is a credible witness, the prosecution said.
It also said the testimonies of several other witnesses should be accepted to prove that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak.
The prosecution, led by ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, said Rizal was actually “a witness with no purpose to serve” as he was acquitted of charges against him.
“It would have been very different if the prosecution had obtained a discharge not amounting to an acquittal against him,” it said in a written submission filed in the High Court on Tuesday, sighted by FMT.
(When a conditional acquittal is given, the prosecution can prosecute him on the same charges later.)
The prosecution said Rizal’s evidence was, therefore, to be treated on a higher plane than an accomplice.
On Jan 8, Rizal was freed of four counts of corruption over a Sarawak solar project. He was earlier jointly charged with Rosmah.
Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings from then managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through Rizal, as an inducement to help the company secure the solar project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, costing RM1.25 billion, through direct negotiation with the education ministry.
She is also charged with two counts of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million – RM5 million from Saidi through Rizal at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya on Dec 20, 2016 and RM1.5 million from Saidi at her private residence at Langgak Duta here on Sept 7, 2017.
The prosecution said Rizal had no strong motive for minimising his own part in the criminal transaction.
“As such, his evidence, though it must be treated with caution, has a ring of truth as he has not sought to downplay his role in the transaction,” it said.
It said Rizal candidly accepted that he had received money from Saidi and his then business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.
“He may be a person of bad character but that is not a ground for rejecting his testimony.”
Rizal’s evidence of Rosmah receiving RM5 million was corroborated hy other witnesses, the prosecution said.
It said Maybank cashier Azimah Aziz confirmed that Saidi withdrew the money in cash on Dec 20, 2016.
Rizal’s confidante, Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin, also confirmed that Rizal delivered two bags containing the cash to Seri Perdana.
Rizal had said that on arrival at the prime minister’s official residence, two butlers came to collect the bags and he went to meet Rosmah. He said Rosmah did not open the bags but instructed the butlers to take them to her room.
The prosecution said the RM5 million was paid soon after the letter of award was issued by the ministry to Jepak Holdings, and the remaining RM1.5 million was paid after the ministry released a series of progress payments, totalling about RM63 million, to the company.
“The payments support the soliciting charge. It is an irresistible inference that these payments would not have been made by Saidi unless there had been a demand for a bribe,” it said.
Further, it said, it was not in the “ordinary course of human nature” for unsolicited payments to be made by a contractor seeking a government contract to the wife of a serving prime minister.
The prosecution said it was also a blatant lie by Rosmah in her statement to investigators that she never knew Saidi and Rayyan, a fact that was rebutted by the two men and Rizal.
It said Rosmah’s corrupt intention was revealed when she urged the then ministry’s secretaries-general, Madinah Mohamed and Alias Ahmad, to expedite the project approval and asked for a donation based on a percentage and not a fixed sum.
It said the evidence of lawyer Lawrence Tee Kien Moon, who prepared a “consultancy” agreement, and that of then education minister Mahdzir Khalid, Saidi’s driver Shamsul Rizal Sharbini, Ahmed Farriq, Madinah, Alias, Saidi and Rayyan was credible and should be accepted.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan has fixed Feb 10 to seek clarification from the defence and prosecution before he decides whether Rosmah is entitled to an acquittal or will be called to enter her defence.