Mahdzir identifies Najib, Rosmah from tapped phone audio in court

The particular recording played in the proceeding included the infamous ‘Can I advise you something’ part, allegedly said by Rosmah to Najib

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA

FORMER Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has identified Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor from one of the tapped phone recordings released recently.

On the third day of Rosmah’s trial, the prosecution played the recording in court for Mahdzir to identify whether the voices heard were of Najib and his accused wife.

The particular recording played in the proceeding included the infamous “Can I advise you something” part, allegedly said by Rosmah to Najib on how he should manage issues related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

“If I were to play a recording, would you be able to identify his (Najib’s) voice?” Sri Ram said in his examination-in-chief at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday, in which Mahdzir replied: “Yes”.

Sri Ram also asked whether the witness is familiar with Rosmah’s voice.

After the audio clip was played, Mahdzir testified that the male and female voices were of Najib and Rosmah.

Earlier, defence counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh objected to the prosecution’s request, saying the audio should have been delivered to them earlier and tendered through an investigating officer.

The defence, who was surprised by the move, expressed concerns on trial by media if the recording was allowed to be played.

However, Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan granted the request, stating: “Fortunately this is a trial by the court, not trial by the press.”

The recording has been marked for identification, or ID only for now and the judge ruled that the prosecution shall bring a witness to testify on the recording or it would not be accepted by the court.

Mahdzir also testified that he had no doubt about Rosmah’s involvement in helping Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd MD Saidi Abang Samsudin to secure the RM1.25 billion hybrid solar project from the Education Ministry.

“I still remember, when I answered the call, Datin Seri Rosmah immediately told me that she did not know who Rayyan (Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah was Saidi’s business partner) was. She also said she was only helping Cikgu Aazmey (Datuk Aazmey Abu Talib, who is Pekan Umno secretary and former Pahang education director).

“Datin Seri Rosmah also told me to just comply with the minutes by Datuk Seri Najib and that she did not want me to delay matters on the hybrid solar project. I merely said yes, yes, Datin Seri,” he told the court yesterday.

Rosmah is charged with soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving a total bribe of RM6.5 million from Saidi through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor in relation to a RM1.25 billion solar equipment supply project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Separately, in Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, Bernama reported former Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Professor Datuk Syed Omar Al-Saggaf testified that he only learned about the Saudi donation that was to be used for election purposes from Najib and not the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud himself.

Syed Omar said he was not told of this by the Saudi monarch and learned about it after Najib had attended an official meeting on Jan 11, 2010, at the Riyadh Palace with King Abdullah.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram: You personally did not hear what was spoken to each other (King Abdullah and Najib), what you said in your witness statement, you do not have personal knowledge of the facts in relation to the general election?

Syed Omar: No.

Sithambaram: You later learned about it?

Syed Omar: From Najib, as we were leaving the hall where the meeting took place.

Both Najib’s and Rosmah’s trials continue today.