Witness never mentioned to MACC RM2mil was for Guan Eng, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The key prosecution witness in the undersea tunnel corruption case involving Lim Guan Eng told the Sessions Court here that he never mentioned that the RM2mil was intended to be given to the former Penang chief minister.

Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli testified this during Monday (March 4)’s court impeachment proceedings against him over his credibility as a witness in the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel corruption trial against Lim.

He was referring to his statement which was recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the case involving businessman G. Gnanaraja at the Shah Alam Sessions Court in 2018.

In November last year, Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi allowed Lim's application to commence impeachment proceedings against the key prosecution witness.

Judge Azura Alwi allowed the application to ascertain if there were discrepancies between Zarul Ahmad’s statement recorded by the MACC for the case involving Gnanaraja and his testimony in the Sessions Court here.

Lawyer Haijan Omar, who represented Lim, then questioned Zarul Ahmad if he agreed that the payment voucher in the form of a check amounting to RM2mil dated Aug 17, 2017, was the same one referred to before the court in this case.

Zarul Ahmad said yes and when asked if the RM2mil (allegedly given to Lim) was part of the RM19mil that he gave to Gnanaraja.

Haijan: Do you agree that in your statement (to MACC), you did not mention at all that the RM2mil cheque was for LimGuan Eng?

Zarul Ahmad: At that time, yes.

Haijan: Do you agree with me that when you gave the RM2mil to Gnanaraja it was to solve your case with MACC and to approach the former prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak).

Zarul Ahmad: I do not agree, Your Honour. I want to explain.

When Zarul Ahmad insisted on explaining the matter, despite being asked by Haijan to respond with either "yes” or "no”, Azura then told the witness that he could explain during examination by the prosecution.

At the proceeding today, the prosecution was represented by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

The hearing continues on March 6.

Lim is facing four corruption charges involving the proposed construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.

On the first charge, Lim is alleged to have abused his power as then Penang Chief Minister to obtain RM3.3 million in monetary gratification as an inducement to appoint Zarul's company to implement the RM6,341,383,702 undersea tunnel project and construction of main roads in the state.

He is alleged to have committed the offence between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office.

On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of asking Zarul for 10 per cent of profits as a reward for helping his company secure the said projects.

Lim is alleged to have committed the offence at The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.

He is also facing two other charges for dishonestly disposing of two plots of land belonging to the Penang government in Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM208mil to the developer of the undersea tunnel project, which was allegedly committed at the State Land and Mines Office in Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.- Bernama

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