Former company director says Zarul Ahmad confessed giving bribes to Guan Eng


KUALA LUMPUR: A former company director said Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli had confessed to him about giving bribes to Lim Guan Eng, the court heard on Tuesday (June 28).

Ibrahim Sahari, 58, who is the former Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) director, said Zarul Ahmad had told him about it after he was freed from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s detention in January 2018.

ALSO READ: Guan Eng trial: Exec director admitted ‘cooking the books’ to cover withdrawals for bribes, court told

Zarul Ahmad is the key witness in the former Penang chief minister’s corruption trial in the Penang undersea tunnel project.

“However, Datuk Zarul did not tell me about the amount and how the bribes were given to Lim Guan Eng,” he said when reading out his witness statement in court.

ALSO READ: Guan Eng forced to apologise after reprimand from judge

The 29th prosecution witness also admitted to corroborating in producing fake company documents to cover the traces of the withdrawals of funds to be given to Lim as bribes.

“I confirm that there were payment vouchers that were faked using the names of company directors, but were actually Datuk Zarul’s withdrawals.

ALSO READ: 'Chocolate' and 'big boss' were code words used to describe money and Guan Eng, court told

“The method was through cash cheques made to Azli (Adam - the 28th prosecution witness).

“As I know, he would then send the cash to Datuk Zarul Ahmad after the withdrawals,” he said.

ALSO READ: Guan Eng accepted cash-filled envelopes 'with a smile', says witness

Although knowing his action was wrong, Ibrahim said it was all done in the best interest of the company.

During cross-examination by lead defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo, he admitted that he did not personally see the alleged bribes being handed to Lim.

ALSO READ: Witness says he gave Guan Eng a Swiss watch for his birthday

Their exchange became heated when Gobind questioned how Ibrahim, once a head of compliance and supervision for the international banking division at Maybank, agreed to help falsify company documents.

Gobind: Being trained in accounting, you surely know that falsifying documents is an offence?

Ibrahim: Yes.

Gobind: Especially in forging invoices and payment vouchers. Moreover, forging a company's accounts?

Ibrahim: Yes

Gobind: Even though you knew it was wrong, you still did it. You knew it was a criminal offence?

Ibrahim: Yes

Gobind: So you're saying Zarul Ahmad had ordered you and Azli to commit the offence?

Ibrahim: Yes.

Gobind: So Zarul Ahmad is a person who is willing to commit an offence?

Ibrahim: If you refer to the transactions (related to the forged documents) then I agree.

Gobind: Your statement is that you're a fabricator.

Ibrahim: Yes.

Gobind: In fact, Zarul Ahmad, you and Azli are master fabricators.

Ibrahim: I disagree.

Gobind: What kind of a person you are to have done this? You are a penyangak (rogue).

Ibrahim: I was only following orders... one who does it for the interest of the company.

Gobind: I put it to you that you're a liar.

Ibrahim: I disagree.

Gobind: But you fabricated the documents. You had never stopped Zarul Ahmad.

Ibrahim: Yes

Gobind: You didn't know what reasons the payments were for?

Ibrahim: Initially I didn't know.

Gobind: You didn't see who the money was given to or how the money was used?

Ibrahim: Yes, I agree.

Gobind: Your statement cannot be trusted in court because you’re willing to forge and tell lies in court.

Ibrahim: I disagree.

On Monday (June 27), Azli, who used to be in charge of the company's accounts, had testified that Zarul Ahmad had confided in him and Ibrahim that some of the documents that Azli had fabricated under his directives were to facilitate payments of bribes to Lim.

Zarul Ahmad had in his earlier witness statement also claimed that he had personally given cash as bribes to Lim on several occasions after his company was awarded the project.

The trial before Judge Azura Alwi resumes on July 25, where Zarul Ahmad will be cross-examined by the defence.

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