KUALA LUMPUR: A witness said in Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial that he had packed RM100 notes into two backpacks and drove his employer to the former prime minister’s residence to deliver the money.
Shamsul Rizal Sharbini, who works as a driver to businessman Saidi Abang Samsudin, said that his boss had instructed him to buy two backpacks and to meet him (Saidi) at Maybank Medan Tuanku branch, sometime in 2017.
“I did not count the money. I packed them into the two bags and then put the bags into the car that I was driving that day,” he said.
Shamsul said he drove Saidi to Sunway Putra Mall to meet Saidi’s business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, and subsequently they followed Rayyan’s car to Rosmah’s house.
“When we arrived at the house, the front gate was opened and I drove into the compound to drop Saidi off while Rayyan parked his car outside.
“I saw Rizal already waiting at the door,” he said, referring to Rizal Mansor, who was Rosmah’s aide at the time.
The witness said he recognised Rizal as Rosmah and Najib Razak’s assistant as Rizal always appeared on television and was also heavily criticised by the then opposition in social media.
Rizal was produced in court today to be identified.
“I heard Saidi asking Rizal ‘where is Madam’ and Rizal told Saidi that ‘Madam is upstairs,” Shamsul said, adding that he then decided to put the two backpacks on a green sofa.
Shamsul also told the court that on another occasion, Saidi had instructed him to drive Saidi and another friend known as Razak to a shop selling bags.
“I dropped them outside a shop in Pertama Complex. They went out of the car and bought two black suitcases.
“After that, I drove them to Maybank Medan Tuanku,” he said.
The witness told the court he dropped off Saidi and Razak outside the bank and went to find a parking spot.
Shamsul said both men walked back to the car after 15 minutes with each carrying a suitcase.
“Suddenly, a man wearing a dark jacket came into the car’s back seat and sat beside Razak. I did not know who he was but he looked like a police officer as he was armed.
“Saidi whispered to me that ‘kalau apa-apa jadi dia takut dia mati’ without telling who the man was,” he said.
The witness told the court he then drove the three men to the Pavillion mall and throughout the 30-minute drive, he felt scared because the unknown man was carrying a gun.
“When we arrived at Pavillion mall, Saidi asked me to take out the two suitcases and placed them at the building’s main door.
“The bags were heavy and I had to carry them one by one. I did not know what was inside,” Shamsul said, adding that he saw Rizal at the lobby area.
Shamsul also said that he later saw the suitcases had been put into a black Vellfire when he returned to the lobby to pick up Saidi.
“During our drive home, Saidi jokingly said that he did not know who the man was that came into the car and what if the man had killed us all.”
To a question by deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P Kunyalam on the purpose of his, Saidi and Rayyan’s visit to Rosmah’s house on Nov 2, 2018 with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, Shamsul said it was meant to identify the places where he had parked his car and placed the two backpacks.
Rosmah’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader questioned Shamsul’s credibility as the witness had told the court he could not remember the dates for the two trips to Maybank.
Shamsul wanted to answer but the lawyer continued by saying: “Therefore you cannot confirm if the two occasions really took place.”
Mustafa told the lawyer to let Shamsul finish his answers first.
“I cannot remember the dates but I can confirm that both incidents took place,” Shamsul said.
The hearing continues before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Jan 10.
Rosmah is facing three counts of corruption charges for allegedly soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi, the managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, as an inducement to help the company secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
The education ministry project is worth a total of RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations.
She was also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.