I want my RM19mil back, says witness in undersea tunnel case

KUALA LUMPUR: A company director told the Sessions Court here that he tried to get back the RM19mil which was given to a middleman allegedly close to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to stop the investigation into the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project.

Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, 62, said he sent a Letter of Demand (LOD) to the middleman, known as G. Gnanaraja, through his lawyers from Messrs Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq to get his money back.

ALSO READ: Witness tells court why he paid middleman

"I don't remember the exact wording (in the LOD). The gist of the LOD is I want my RM19mil back," he said when questioned by Lim Guan Eng's counsel Gobind Singh Deo whether he was aware that the words 'held on trust' were written in the LOD.

Gobind: In order to get your money back, you must explain why it was with him (Gnanaraja) in the first place. You instructed your lawyers to send the LOD. In the LOD, it was written the money was 'held on trust'.

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Zarul: I gave the money to Gnanaraja, supposedly to be given to the prime minister. You (Gobind) have to ask my lawyer. I just told my lawyer to get my money back. I have no idea how my lawyer worded the LOD.

To another question by the lawyer, the 23rd prosecution witness said he had no knowledge about the second investigation against Gnanaraja, who denied he cheated Zarul of the RM19mil.

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

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court that the prosecution was unable to produce WhatsApp messages between the witness and Gnanaraja as requested by the defence as the investigation papers regarding Gnanaraja's case had been shredded.

Gobind then requested for the phone containing the WhatsApp messages to be viewed in court.

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Judge Azura Alwi granted the lawyer's request and said the court would set a later date to call the forensic team in order to turn on and view the phone during the proceedings.

Tuesday's proceedings were then cut short after the witness complained that he was not well as he suffered from high blood pressure and heart palpitations and was asked by his doctor to see a specialist about his condition.

The trial continues on Wednesday. – Bernama

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