'I will prove my innocence', says Wan Saiful

Wan Saiful Wan leaving the courthouse after pleading not guilty at the Kuala Lumpur court complex. – AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Expressing his confidence in the fairness and independence of the judiciary, Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan said he will prove his innocence through the court process.

“We will prove through the court process. I have full confidence that our courts are fair,” the Bersatu information chief told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur court complex after he was charged with corruption at the Sessions Court on Tuesday (Feb 21).

ALSO READ: Jana Wibawa probe: Wan Saiful claims trial, pleads not guilty

“I am thankful for the strong team of lawyers and god wiling, I will be able to prove that the charges against me were uncalled for,” he said at a press conference at the court complex lobby.

He claimed that such charges were levelled upon him to divert attention away from the government’s failure in coming up with ideas to solve the people’s problems such as the rising cost of living.

He also said that he had extended his full cooperation with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during the course of the investigation.

ALSO READ: Wan Saiful and businessman to face graft charges related to Jana Wibawa scheme

The Tasek Gelugor MP claimed trial to two charges of corruption involving some RM6.9mil, said to be linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

According to the first charge, Wan Saiful, 48, allegedly solicited for himself a bribe from an individual as an inducement for him to assist Nepturis Sdn Bhd to obtain a valued at RM232mil project called "Central Spine Road: Sertik Ke Persimpangan Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (CH 0-CH 8050) from the government through a pre-qualification.

He allegedly committed the offence at the Royal Lake Club sometime in April last year.

For the second charge, Wan Saiful allegedly received for himself a bribe of RM6,962,694.54 through a CIMB account belonging to his company, WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from the Maybank account of Nepturis Sdn Bhd.

The money was allegedly an inducement for Wan Saiful to assist Nepturis in obtaining an acceptance letter for the Central Spine Road project.

The charges were framed under Section 16a(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

If convicted, Wan Saiful faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin offered bail between RM500,000 and RM1mil on grounds that the accused was charged with a serious offence.

However, he said that Wan Saiful was not a flight risk and had given his cooperation to the MACC during the investigation.

"I ask the court to impose additional conditions for bail purposes. The accused should surrender his passport to the court and report himself to the MACC office each month," the prosecutor said.

Wan Saiful's lawyer, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, asked for a lower bail amount between RM200,000 and RM300,000.

He said the purpose of bail was to ensure the accused's attendance in court and that the prosecution itself had considered the accused to be a non-flight risk person and had cooperated with the MACC.

"Both his bank accounts have been frozen by the MACC. His wife is unwell and undergoing chemotherapy. As such, money is required for this purpose," Hisyam said.

Hisyam also requested for the court to allow his client to report himself at the MACC office once every two months instead of once a month.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi fixed bail at RM400,000 in one surety.

She also ordered Wan Saiful to surrender his passport to the court and allowed him to report himself to the MACC office bimonthly.

The case is fixed for mention on March 22.

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