KUALA LUMPUR (July 5): Former Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the party's former assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali "to clear" and distribute part of the RM1 million as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wanted to conduct checks on the former's home, the High Court heard on Tuesday (July 5).
Rafiq, who is the prosecution's star witness in the ongoing criminal trial of the former youth and sports minister, said that he received a call from Syed Saddiq in late March or early April 2020 with the said instructions.
"I got a WhatsApp call in late March or early April. [He said the] MACC was coming to his house to conduct checks and told me to clear the money, so I distributed it to Naqib and Daniel," he said, refering to Bersatu Youth member Muhammad Naqib Ab Rahim and Federal Territories Bersatu Youth information chief Muhammad Daniel Kusari.
The prosecution's 13th witness said he subsequently distributed RM250,000 to Muhammad Naqib and RM650,000 to Muhammad Daniel in April 2020.
These monies were part of the RM1 million central to the criminal breach of trust (CBT) charge that the Muar Member of Parliament faces in this trial. Syed Saddiq is charged with abetting Rafiq with committing CBT of RM1 million in funds belonging to Bersatu's Youth wing, Armada.
Rafiq went on to elaborate that his understanding was that the MACC was conducting checks in relation to the missing RM250,000 stolen from Syed Saddiq's safe in his house in March 2020.
The prosecution led by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin has been trying to establish a link between the missing RM250,000 and the four charges Syed Saddiq faces in this trial. The defence, however, has continued to question the relevancy of the missing monies to the case.
Rafiq also confirmed on Tuesday that he withdrew RM1 million in one lump sum from the youth wing's bank account on March 6 based on Syed Saddiq's instructions. The monies were to be used for party programmes.
The witness added that he, Syed Saddiq and Bersatu Youth assistant secretary Ahmad Redzuan Mohamed Shafi were the three designated trustees for the account. In order to make a withdrawal, two out of three designated trustees' signatures would be needed.
He also said that there were no prior instructions to distribute the funds.
Wan Shaharuddin: From March 6 until before you distributed the money to Naqib and Daniel, was there any instruction to distribute?
Muhammad Daniel, who testified on Monday, said that out of the RM650,000 he received, RM263,700 had since been disbursed to charity.
The DPP then pointed out that the money distributed only amounted to RM900,000 when Rafiq had withdrawn RM1 million. The witness said the rest of the money was used to fund Armada programmes, although he could not recall the specifics.
Earlier during his testimony, Rafiq, 32, also said it was the party election season at that point in time and those funds would also be used by "Syed Saddiq's camp".
The CBT charge is framed under Section 406 of the Penal Code. If found guilty, Syed Saddiq could be jailed for up to 10 years, whipped and fined.
He is also being 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. For this, he could be jailed up to five years, whipped and fined if found guilty.
In addition, he also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, namely dealing in two transactions of RM50,000, believed to be proceeds of unlawful activities, via his Maybank Islamic account and his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, on June 16 and 19, 2018 respectively.
The latter two charges are 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 in the afternoon.