KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): After the High Court rejected Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's application for the details of his asset declarations to be heard during in-camera proceedings without the presence of the public or the media, the former Federal Territories Minister became emotional in the courtroom.
Standing trial to a charge of accepting RM2mil from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, the Putrajaya MP burst out angrily when Deputy Public Prosecutor Julia Ibrahim asked him during cross-examination whether a sentence in his witness statement was his personal opinion.
“When I say I do not want to declare myself, it is because publicly you know why.
“Now I have a problem. After I mentioned nearly a billion (in assets), they will want to sensationalise it. That’s why I feel deprived, ” he said in a voice choked with emotion.
The former Umno secretary-general's counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan interjected, asking for a stand-down to calm him down.
Earlier in court proceedings, Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan in delivering his decision on the declaration of assets, ruled that for the trial to be conducted fairly, it must be done transparently and the public therefore had the right to hear what the court hears and see what the court sees.
“This way, the public will be able to appreciate any decision made by the court and not be kept guessing about any evidence kept secret, ” he said, adding that Tengku Adnan, 69, had failed to convince the court that it would be in the interest of justice or showed sufficient reason for his application to be granted.
While acknowledging Tengku Adnan's fears for the safety of his family, should the details of his wealth be made known publicly, Justice Mohamed Zaini said it would be contrary to the interests of justice to grant the application.
“The trial must not only be conducted fairly but must be seen to be conducted fairly, ” the judge added.
The trial then continued with Tan's examination-in-chief of Tengku Adnan who informed the court that he had declared his assets during his tenure in the Cabinet since 2001, to three prime ministers, namely Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
To further questioning by Tan regarding his total assets declared to Dr Mahathir in 2001, Tengku Adnan said, “I think it is over RM900mil.”
Asked by Tan whether the figure was RM938,643,566.16, the former minister answered in the affirmative.
Tengku Adnan also confirmed that he had declared his assets amounting to RM711,325,822.00 to Abdullah in 2006, along with RM691,770,649.00 and RM782,748,061.00 to Najib, in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
On Oct 14 last year, the High Court ordered Tengku Adnan to enter his defence, after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him.
Tengku Adnan was charged in his capacity as a public servant then, namely as Federal Territories Minister, to having accepted for himself, RM2mil from Chai via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd that was later deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd in which he had an interest, when it was known that Aset Kayamas had a connection with his official duties.
He is alleged to have committed the offence at the Pusat Bandar Damansara branch of CIMB Bank Bhd here on June 14,2016.
The former minister was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which carries a penalty of imprisonment of up to two years or a fine, or both, if convicted.
The hearing continues on Thursday (March 5). – Bernama