KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed Oct 28 to decide whether Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman will be acquitted or ordered to enter his defence on four charges of abetting criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid set the date after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence at the end of the prosecution’s case.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin argued that the prosecution only needed to prove that Syed Saddiq’s order for the withdrawal of RM1mil from the official account of Bersatu’s youth wing Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) on March 6, 2020, was classified as abetment.
He said the prosecution did not need to prove that Syed Saddiq committed CBT, because it was not an element of the charge against him.
"It must be remembered that this offence of abetment is a 'distinct offence' from what was done by the 13th prosecution witness (PW13) Rafiq Hakim Razali.
"We only need to show that every action of Rafiq Hakim was due to the instructions given by the accused, influenced by the ill intentions and motives of the accused," said Wan Shaharuddin.
Wan Shaharuddin said Syed Saddiq had also instructed SP13 to transfer RM120,000 of fundraising money from the Maybank account of Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) into the parliamentarian's bank account in April 2018.
"ABBE was established to generate income for Armada and the purpose of fundraising was to obtain funds to be used by Armada for the GE14 campaign.
"The issue had never arisen that the purpose of the fundraising was to replace the money that had been used by the accused for GE14," he said.
As for the money laundering case, he said two transactions amounting to RM50,000 each were made in 2018 from the accused's Maybank account to his Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) account.
Wan Shaharuddin said that Rafiq Hakim and Putrajaya MACC investigating officer Asbi Munip, who is also the 29th prosecution witness, informed in their testimonies that all the funds collected belonged to Armada and not to the accused.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq's counsel Gobind Singh Deo argued that it was not disputed that all of the monies that were spent from the RM1mil withdrawal were spent on Armada's programmes and the accused did not receive a single cent from the impugned sum.
"This demonstrates that, contrary to the prosecution's case, the accused acted to give effect to and not in contravention of Bersatu's Constitution. In these circumstances, it is submitted that the accused ought to be acquitted and discharged forthwith of the Section 405 charge," he said.
He said Rafiq Hakim had changed his tune during cross-examination and asserted the accused did specifically instruct him to "clear" the impugned sum.
However, the counsel said the public prosecutor never led evidence to satisfactorily explain the contradiction between PW13's evidence on July 6, 2022, and his evidence on Aug 23, 2022.
On Sept 27, the prosecution closed its case after calling 30 witnesses in the trial which began on May 21, and among the witnesses called were Syed Saddiq’s parents - Shariffah Mahani Syed Abdul Aziz and Syed Abdul Rahman Abdullah Asagoff - and Rafiq Hakim, who is the former assistant treasurer of Bersatu Armada.
Syed Saddiq, 29, is charged as then Bersatu Youth wing chief, entrusted with control of its funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim in CBT involving RM1mil in funds belonging to the wing at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, on March 6, 2020.
In 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, between April 8 and 21, 2018.
He also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities through 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