by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
A WITNESS told the High Court here today that Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin has paid for the umrah trip for Datuk Rizal Mansor (picture) and his family after being pressured to do so by the latter, who is also former aide of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, 41, who is Saidi’s business partner, said Rizal had also pressured him (Rayyan Radzwill) to ask money from Saidi, but the 16th prosecution witness could not be sure of the exact amount.
“What I know is that when he (Rizal) wanted to perform umrah with his family, he asked Saidi to pay for it and Saidi did pay for it, but I’m not sure of the exact amount,” he said during cross-examination by Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader in the trial of Rosmah’s case regarding the hybrid solar project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Rosmah is being tried for a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two other charges of receiving a bribe of RM6.5 million from Saidi through Rizal as gratification for helping Jepak Holding to secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Integrated System and maintenance and operation of genset-diesel worth RM1.25 billion for 369 rural schools in Sarawak through direct negotiation with the Education Ministry (MOE).
She allegedly committed the offences at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra, here; her residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta; and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Presint 10, Putrajaya, between January 2016 and Sept 7, 2017.
Rayyan Radzwill touched on Saidi’s action in paying for Rizal’s umrah trip when asked by Akberdin whether or not he agreed that Rizal was paid RM50,000 seven times between 2016 and 2017 as gratification for helping Jepak Holdings in securing the hybrid solar project.
The witness, who is also Nanocarb Technology Sdn Bhd director, also agreed with Akberdin’s suggestion that he had, on several occasions, advised Saidi to be wary of Rizal who had been soliciting money by using Rosmah’s name.
“Do you agree that before and after Saidi informed you about the RM5 million issue on Dec 20, 2016, Rizal had also solicited another RM25 million (before) and RM500,000 (after)?,” Akberdin asked to which Rayyan Radzwill answered: “Yes, correct.”
“Agree that you have advised Saidi that you suspected Rizal had used Rosmah’s name to solicit money from Saidi?” kata Akberdin.
“I didn’t suspect him selling (Rosmah’s) name. I think he took the money for himself, and had solicited (money) for himself,” the witness said.
“Agree or not that this doubt exists because you were not convinced that Rizal had given RM5 million to Rosmah, but instead had taken it for himself,” Akberdin asked and Rayyan Radzwill answered: “Yes”.
In his previous statement, Rayyan Radzwill said that in December 2016, Saidi told him that he had given RM5 million in cash to Rosmah through Rizal for helping Jepak Holdings obtained the Letter of Award (SST) from the MOE for the project.
The witness also said that on the same day (in December 2016), Saidi invited him to Rizal’s residence in Segambut where Saidi handed over a paper bag containing cash of RM500,000 to Rizal as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secured the project.
Rayyan Radzwill was also asked on the failure of former Minister of Education Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, and two former secretaries-general of the ministry, Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad and Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, in taking action against Jepak Holdings which had allegedly amended and forged the documents related to the project.
Akberdin: Agree or not that Datuk Seri Mahdzir, Tan Sri Madinah and Datuk Seri Alias have failed to trustworthily perform their duties as government officers in handling the project as they had conspired and protected Jepak Holdings in its actions?
Rayyan Radzwill: Conspired, I don’t know. Protected, yes.
The trial before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow.