Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Rosmah’s ex-aide says he dropped off police officer to protect his ‘boss’

Rizal Mansor says he did not want the officer, who was also in his vehicle, to find out his destination or to whom the RM5 million was taken.

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Rosmah Mansor’s former special officer Rizal Mansor told the High Court yesterday that he dropped off a police officer known as “Evo” at the Prime Minister’s Office before taking two luggage bags containing RM5 million to the Seri Perdana complex in Putrajaya to protect his “boss”.

Rizal added that he did not want the officer, who was also in his vehicle, to find out his destination or to whom the money was taken.

“At that time I panicked. I did not know what to do. Farriq (Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin, who is also Rizal’s friend) whispered to me that it would be dangerous if he (the police officer) knew we wanted to take a bag (containing RM5 million), or to whom.

“I was protecting my boss,” he said during cross-examination by Rosmah’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader.

Rizal, 46, was testifying in the trial of Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak. Rosmah faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two charges of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from former Jepak Holdings Managing Director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

Rizal, in his witness statement earlier, told the court that Rosmah had instructed him to take RM5 million in cash to the official residence in Seri Perdana because she was in the house at the time.

When questioned about his act of dropping off the officer, Rizal, the 21st prosecution witness, said: “I really didn’t want him to know where I was taking the bag.”

According to Rizal, although he had Evo’s phone number, he did not know his real name and was also unsure of his rank.

Akberdin: Through your witness statement, you stated that you and Farriq felt uncomfortable in the presence of the police officer. There was no reason for you to feel uncomfortable because you “arranged” for the police officer to escort Saidi after he withdrew RM5 million from Maybank, in Jalan Medan Tuanku, at the end of December 2016 and took it to Lawrence’s (consultant Tee Kien Moon) office at the Pavilion.

Rizal: Yes, I did arrange for the police officer to escort Saidi because Saidi informed me that he was afraid to carry that much cash. But after I was told by Saidi that Lawrence did not want to receive the RM5 million, I panicked. It was the first time I had been in possession of that much money.

Akberdin: The reason that you felt uncomfortable was just drama. You actually wanted to pocket the RM5 million and then you said you were uncomfortable.

Rizal: I disagree.

When questioned by senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram during re-examination, Rizal told the court that he never took the RM5 million brought to Pavilion by Saidi for his own use.

He added that although he was appointed as a special officer to Najib, only 10% of his role was dedicated to him while 90% was for Rosmah.

When asked about his lifestyle and the luxury cars in his possession, Rizal said the Mercedez Benz belonged to his daughter who is a famous online personality. He said the Audi belonged to his wife, a businesswoman, and that the Honda Odyssey belonged to him.

Sri Ram: The defence suggested to you that the accused (Rosmah) did not ask for the money for herself, and Saidi suggested the money was for a “political donation”. Do you know of the RM6.5 million sent to Rosmah for political donation?

Rizal: Not to my knowledge.

He added that no receipt or thank-you letter was issued to Jepak, Saidi or Rayyan by either Umno or Barisan Nasional in appreciation of the donation.

According to the charge, Rosmah received the bribes through Rizal as a reward for assisting Jepak Holdings secure the hybrid photovoltaic solar system integrated project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets for 369 schools in rural Sarawak, worth RM1.25 billion, from the education ministry through direct negotiation.

The acts were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and September 2017.

The trial will continue before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Oct 5.

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