Guan Eng trial adjourned after sound system glitch

KUALA LUMPUR: The cross-examination of a key witness in Lim Guan Eng's corruption trial involving the Penang undersea tunnel project had to be adjourned Monday (Aug 8) following a technical glitch in the audio system.

The audio of the proceeding’s live telecast went off when Lim’s counsel Gobind Singh Deo asked Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli about his WhatsApp message exchange with businessman G. Gnanaraja.

Members of the media who were covering the proceeding from a separate room could not hear anything despite being able to see the live video.

ALSO READ: Key witness was ready to bribe PM to close Penang tunnel graft probe

Moments later, it was apparent from the video that the court had been adjourned.

Members of the media were then told that there was a glitch with the sound system and the hearing would resume on Tuesday (Aug 9).

Zarul Ahmad, who is Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) senior executive director, earlier told the Sessions Court that "there were more reasons to it" when he resorted to paying RM22mil to a middleman to settle a graft probe of the RM6.3bil project.

ALSO READ: Key witness admits to lying

Despite being threatened with a charge of money-laundering offences that could be detrimental to his company and the project, Zarul Ahmad said it was not "the only reason" he paid the money.

Gobind: Datuk Zarul, you were aware that you received a WhatsApp message from Gnanaraja, in which you were threatened with Amla (Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act) proceedings, right?

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: You remember that, isn’t it?

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: You remember what the message said?

Zarul Ahmad: My name and my IC number.

Gobind: What did he say about it? He said that you will be charged under Amla, isn’t it?

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: And that’s what made you make the payments, correct?

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: That there was a charge against you.

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: And it would have linked back to your company, correct?

Zarul Ahmad: Yes.

Gobind: That’s the reason you made the payment of RM19mil, correct?

Zarul Ahmad: I disagree. There was more to it than that.

Gobind: But that’s the reason, that’s the trigger, isn’t it?

Zarul Ahmad: It’s not the only reason.

Gobind: I put it to you that it was the only reason.

Zarul Ahmad: No.

Gobind: I put it to you that, in the investigation, you said that was the reason.

Zarul Ahmad: I don't agree.

Gobind: You don't agree that you said that in the investigation?

Soon after that, the court lost the audio feed of the live telecast.

ALSO READ: Former company director says Zarul Ahmad confessed giving bribes to Guan Eng (

Zarul Ahmad previously said in court that RM22mil was paid to Gnanaraja, and that he was told RM19mil was meant for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the remaining RM3mil was "purportedly" for Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

Gnanaraja was charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court on April 3, 2019 with three counts of cheating Zarul Ahmad of RM19mil into believing that he was able to settle an MACC investigation into the undersea tunnel project.

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