I do not know the amount of money given to Lim for undersea tunnel project, says witness

KUALA LUMPUR – The former director of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) told the Sessions Court here today that he did not know the amount of money that was allegedly given to Lim Guan Eng (picture) in connection with the construction of roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang.

Ibrahim Sahari, 58, who is the 29th prosecution witness, also told the court that he did not know the purpose and manner in which the money was given to the former Penang chief minister (CM).

He said this when questioned by Lim’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, at the trial of a corruption case in which Lim faced four charges involving the project, which was worth RM6.3 billion.

Gobind: You never saw the money paid to whom?

Ibrahim: Agree.

When reading out his witness statement, Ibrahim said that in January 2018, his counterpart, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, 62, confessed to him and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that he (Zarul Ahmad) had made payments to Lim after his release from MACC’s detention.

“However, Zarul Ahmad did not tell me on the amount and manner in which the money was given to Lim,” he said, adding that he had met Lim during official meetings between the company and the Penang state government.

In a previous proceeding, Zarul Ahmad had told the court that Lim sought a bribe of 10% of the profits to be earned by Consortium Zenith Beijing Urban Construction Group (CZBUCG)  from the road and undersea tunnel project.

Ibrahim also admitted to the court that he prepared fake invoices, vouchers and company accounts as instructed by Zarul Ahmad.

Gobind: Zarul Ahmad ordered you to commit an offence?

Ibrahim: Only for the transactions (related to falsification of documents).

Gobind: You are a ‘penyangak’ (rogue).

Ibrahim: No, I just follow instructions… I only act in the interest of the company.

Lim, 61, is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang CM to solicit RM3.3 million in bribes as inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) owner, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to secure the project worth RM6,341,383,702.

Lim allegedly committed the offence at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town, between Jan 2011 and Aug 2017.

In the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10 per cent of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project.

The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011.

Lim, a former DAP secretary general, faced another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.

The hearing before judge Azura Alwi continues on July 25. – Bernama