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Court denies Syed Saddiq's bid to impeach witness credibility

It says Rafiq Hakim’s statement, which was not tendered in court, cannot be used to impeach his credibility.

2 minute read
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today rejected Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s application to impeach a key witness’ credibility in his criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering trial.

The Muar MP had sought to impeach the testimony of Rafiq Hakim Razali, the former assistant treasurer of the Bersatu Youth wing, following discrepancies between the latter’s witness statement and his oral testimony in court regarding the procedure for the withdrawal of RM1 million from the wing's bank account.

Judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid said Rafiq Hakim’s statement, which was not tendered in court, could not be used to impeach his credibility.

"I agree with the submission advanced by the prosecution that the statement which the defence sought to rely on is not a witness statement defined under Section 402(B) Criminal Procedural Code (CPC).

"Therefore that statement cannot be used as a basis to impeach the credibility of the witness," he said.
Section 402(B) of the CPC states that in any criminal proceedings, a written statement by any person shall, with the consent of the parties to the proceedings, be admissible as evidence to the like extent as oral evidence by that person.

On July 7, counsel Gobind Singh Deo, representing Syed Saddiq, said the court could use its discretion to allow the defence to start proceedings to challenge Rafiq Hakim's credibility as the document referred to, namely the witness statement, was not tendered in court by the prosecution.

However, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said if the defence wished to challenge the credibility of the witness, the latter's witness statement would have to be tendered in court and used as an exhibit.

After Azhar delivered his decision, Gobind told the court that they would seek a fresh bid to obtain Rafiq Hakim's statements, which were recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2020 during its investigation.

Wan Shaharuddin however objected, saying there was no longer a need to challenge the credibility of the 13th prosecution witness as he had admitted to the court that there were some small discrepancies between his oral testimony in court and his written witness statement.

Azhar then set this Friday for the prosecution and defence to make further submissions before he gave his decision.

Syed Saddiq, 29, was charged as the then youth chief, entrusted with the control of Armada funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim with criminal breach of trust of RM1 million in funds belonging to the wing.

He was also charged with misusing property for himself, namely RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise by causing Rafiq Hakim to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya between April 8 and 21, 2018.

He also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities through two transactions of RM50,000, believed to be the proceeds of unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.

He is accused of committing the offence at a bank at Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru on June 16 and 19, 2018.