KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard today that Rizal Mansor dropped off a police escort at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya as he did not want him (escort) to know that he was delivering RM5 million to Rosmah Mansor at Seri Perdana.
“I wanted to protect my boss (Rosmah) regarding the money. I didn’t want the escort to know to whom I was sending the cash,” said the ex-aide of the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak when cross-examined by lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kadir.
Rizal said his friend Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin, who was also in his car, advised him to drop the cop, identified as Evo, before they finally reached Seri Perdana, the official residence of the prime minister.
“Farriq whispered to me on the way to Putrajaya that it was ‘dangerous’ to have a policeman in the car as we intended to deliver two bags containing cash to Rosmah,” he said
Rizal said Evo was dropped off at the PM’s office and they continued the journey to Seri Perdana which was five minutes’ drive away.
Akberdin asserted that Rizal did not want the policeman to accompany him to Seri Perdana to conceal his intention to pocket the money.
Rizal vehemently and repeatedly denied Akberdin’s accusation during cross examination.
Rizal said he had a day earlier (Aug 19, 2016) arranged for the policeman to accompany the then Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin, who was to withdraw RM5 million from a bank here.
Saidi had asked for an escort to deliver the money to lawyer Lawrence Tee at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur as he feared carrying so much cash.
Rizal said he went to the Pavilion with Farriq to monitor the situation.
Rizal said he saw Saidi bringing down two bags with the assistance of his driver and the escort.
He said a few minutes later, Saidi called him over the mobile phone, informing him that Tee had refused to accept the money.
Rizal said he went to Tee’s office and was told that the lawyer did not have the “courage” to receive the cash.
Rizal said he then called Rosmah to narrate what had transpired and she instructed him to deliver the money to Seri Perdana as she was there.
The money was loaded into Rizal’s car, with his driver at the wheel. He was also accompanied by Farriq and Evo.
Rizal said it was during the 40-minute journey from Pavilion to Putrajaya that Fariq suggested that Evo be dropped off at the PM’s office before they headed to Seri Perdana.
The witness said police outriders then escorted his car to Seri Perdana.
Rizal said on arrival at the PM’s official residence, two butlers came to collect the bags and he went to meet Rosmah.
He said Rosmah did not open the bags but instructed the butlers to take it to her room.
Reexamined by ad-hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, Rizal said no receipt or thank you letter was issued to Jepak, Saidi or Saidi’s partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah by Umno or Barisan Nasional in appreciation of the “political donation”.
Rizal also said 90% of his work time was devoted to Rosmah though he was designated as special functions officer to Najib.
Rosmah is charged with three counts of corruption for soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi as an inducement to help the company secure the project through direct negotiations with the education ministry.
She is also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.
Hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan was adjourned to Oct 5.