KUALA LUMPUR (July 5): The prosecution's star witness in the ongoing criminal trial against former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said he is still friends with the accused.
Rafiq Hakim Razali told the court on Tuesday (July 5) that he had just met with Syed Saddiq a few months ago during Ramadan for a project.
"I am still friends with him. In fact, I met with him during Ramadan. At that time, we were working on a (clothing) project and he agreed to collaborate with us," said Rafiq, adding he went to the Muar MP's home to meet him.
When Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin asked if Syed Saddiq had informed him of any prohibition order that prevents the accused from seeing any witnesses in the case, Rafiq said no.
During proceedings earlier, Rafiq testified that he withdrew RM1 million in one lump sum on March 6 under Syed Saddiq's orders. The funds were meant for party programmes.
However, when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was conducting checks in the Muar MP's home in early 2020, he had asked Rafiq to "clear" part of the money by distributing it.
Subsequently, Rafiq distributed RM250,000 to Bersatu Youth member Muhammad Naqib Ab Rahim and RM650,000 to Federal Territories Bersatu Youth information chief Muhammad Daniel Kusari. The rest of the money was used for party programmes.
When asked by DPP Wan Shaharuddin what else was conveyed by Syed Saddiq during the conversation, Rafiq answered: "That he was afraid the money would be seized."
Syed Saddiq has been charged with abetting Rafiq in committing criminal breach of trust involving RM1 million of funds belonging to Bersatu Youth. The offence allegedly took place in March 2020, when Syed Saddiq was chief of the youth wing.
If found guilty of the charge, which is framed under Section 406 of the Penal Code, Syed Saddiq could be jailed for up to 10 years, whipped and fined.
Syed Saddiq has also been charged under Section 403 with misusing RM120,000 in party contributions raised through a Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise between April 8 and 21, 2018. If convicted for this, he could be jailed up to five years, whipped and fined.
In addition, he faces two charges of engaging in money laundering activities involving two transactions of RM50,000 each — money that is believed to be proceeds of unlawful activities — via his Maybank Islamic account and his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, on June 16 and 19, 2018.
The latter two charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which are punishable under Section 4(1) of the same act with a maximum jail term of 15 years, and a fine of not less than five times the amount involved.
The trial before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid continues on July 6.