Syed Saddiq makes second bid to impeach key prosecution witness

KUALA LUMPUR: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is facing charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering, is making a second attempt to impeach the credibility of a key witness again following discrepancies in the statement recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and his oral testimony in court.

This is the second bid by the defence to obtain leave to commence impeachment proceedings against Rafiq Hakim Razali, the former Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) assistant treasurer, after the High Court on July 18 this year, rejected the Muar MP's application to impeach the 13th prosecution witness following discrepancies in the latter's testimony on the withdrawal of RM1mil from Armada's bank account.

Syed Saddiq's counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, submitted that the contradictions were over Rafiq Hakim's oral testimony in court and his statement that was recorded by the MACC pursuant to Section 30 of the MACC Act 2009.

"The contradictions related to the time and place of the instructions allegedly given by Syed Saddiq to Rafiq Hakim and Ahmad Redzuan Mohamed Shafi, who was the Armada assistant secretary for withdrawing RM1mil and the purpose of the fundraising event in Muar and the monies raised therefrom," the lawyer said.

He said the witness, through his oral testimony in court, said the order to withdraw RM1mil by Syed Saddiq was made after the Sheraton Move at a meeting at the accused's house.

"However, the witness through a statement to the MACC, said the instruction for the withdrawal of RM1mil was made through a phone call in early March 2020," he added.

Gobind Singh also submitted that there was a contradiction in Rafiq Hakim's oral testimony in court when he disagreed that the money in the Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) account was public funds raised by Syed Saddiq for his campaign in Muar.

He said through a statement to the MACC, Rafiq Hakim confirmed that ABBE's financial resources were entirely from public contributions raised at a dinner in Muar and another dinner at the De Palma Hotel.

"The purpose of the dinner was held to get funds for Syed Saddiq to campaign in Muar," he said and requested to be supplied with the witness statement recorded by the MACC.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin submitted that the defence application was an abuse of the court process.

He said the defence wanted to get the statement recorded by the MACC not to challenge the credibility of the witness, but to see the entire content of the statement.

"Now, the defence is making a second attempt through the back door to start proceedings to challenge the credibility of the witness," he said.

After hearing submissions from both parties, Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid fixed July 25 for decision.

Syed Saddiq, 29, is charged as the then Bersatu youth wing or Armada chief, who was entrusted with control of its funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim with CBT of RM1mil in funds belonging to the wing at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, here on March 6, 2020.

For the second charge, Syed Saddiq is alleged to have misused property for himself, namely RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise, by causing Rafiq Hakim to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking Bhd, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya here, between April 8 and 21, 2018.

He also faced two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputra account at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Baru, on June 16 and 19, 2018. – Bernama

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