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Tuesday July 5, 2011

Sarbaini confided in wife about claims, inquest told

KUALA LUMPUR: Several days prior to his death, Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed confided in his wife that he had been framed by an agent over a RM100 voucher.

“He said the agent admitted to taking RM70, but insisted that my husband took RM30.

“I asked him to be honest. My husband swore he did not take the money,” Maziah Manap, 50, told the court.

She added that on the morning of April 6, before he made his way to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Jalan Cochrane here, Ahmad Sarbaini told his daughter “tengah hari ni abah balik (Father will be back this afternoon).”

“If he had said he's coming back, that meant he would,” she said in her testimony on the first day of the inquest into the death of Ahmad Sarbaini, who was found dead at the badminton court on the first floor of the MACC building on April 6.

The 50-year-old added she was convinced Ahmad Sarbaini did not commit suicide because he was a “very calm, patient and rational man”.

Dressed in a black robe, with a blue and purple headscarf, Maziah appeared calm as she described her husband of 28 years as a pious and principled man, as well as a loving father to their five children, aged between 12 and 27.

She also said that when first informed by a Customs officer that her husband had died, she was only told he had collapsed.

When she rushed to the University Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM) morgue to identify his body, she found his face full of blood stains.

Calm and collected: Maziah (left) listening to her lawyer Awtar Singh (right) in court yesterday.

“His face looked like it had been smashed into a wall,” she said.

Maziah added she only found out that he had fallen from the third floor of building when neighbours came over later to tell her that a good Muslim should never commit suicide, and when she saw the news on the television later at night the same day.

Another witness, DSP Sharul Othman Mansor with the Bukit Aman Forensic Division, told the court that Ahmad Sarbani, 56, fell some 10m to his death.

“I believe he fell from the window of the pantry on the third floor. He might have been trying to get out of the building via the pantry,” he said.

DSP Sharul added the deceased might have tried to jump onto the nearby roof “which looks near when you're standing at the window”.

The said roof, however, was actually about 3m from the window, which was found ajar, he added.

He also found finger prints and a hand print on the pantry window, a 4cm scratch mark on the window sill, and dirt marks on the walls inside and outside the pantry window.

Photos projected on a screen in court showed photos of Ahmad Sarbaini lying face down at the badminton court, with his head in a pool of blood. Another photo showed a sharp bone jutting out from his right knee.

The inquest before Coroner Aizatul Akmal Maharani continues today, with a site visit to the MACC building.

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