Friday 12 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): The prosecution in Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's criminal breach trust (CBT) and money laundering trial said that he was wrong to order someone to withdraw RM1 million from Bersatu’s Armada bank account.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court during submissions at the closing of the defence’s case that their witnesses who testified during the course of the trial had shown that Syed Saddiq had malicious intent when he asked their star witness Rafique Hakim Razali to withdraw RM1 million from a bank account that Rafique said belonged to Bersatu’s youth wing Armada.

Wan Shaharuddin said that Syed Saddiq had abetted Rafique and abused his trust in what began with him having RM250,000 stolen from his home.

"He abused his friend's trust and the evidence in the WhatsApp messages will show this," Wan Shaharuddin said during oral submissions in front of High Court Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid.

Wan Shaharuddin contended that withdrawing the money was not wrong but questioned whether Rafique was complicit with Syed Saddiq, saying that Rafique was following orders.

"Withdrawing the money is not wrong but what I want to bring into question here is the accused’s intent. It isn't necessary to think that Rafique had the same intentions as the accused since he had been following orders. Orders to withdraw a large sum of money that did not belong to the accused due to the latter's concerns of the political turmoil happening in the country at the time," Wan Shaharuddin contended.

In his closing remarks, Syed Saddiq's lead defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo rebutted the argument by Wan Shaharuddin by saying that at all times the money had belonged to Syed Saddiq personally and that the money was kept in Armada’s accounts for ease of transactions.

He also said that if the money belonged to Armada, Rafique would have informed the party as such, but he didn’t because he knew the money belonged to Syed Saddiq.

“If the money belonged to Armada, Rafique would’ve told them first, they (Armada) would have been the first to report this fact too, why wasn’t it done? Because the money belongs to Syed Saddiq,” he said.

For the first charge, Syed Saddiq is accused of abetting Rafiq in committing CBT involving RM1 million of party funds in March 2020.

The charge is framed under Section 406 of the Penal Code. Syed Saddiq faces a jail term of up to 10 years, whipping and a fine.

As for the second charge, Syed Saddiq is accused of misusing RM120,000 of party contributions belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) in April 2018. ABBE is a company set up to generate income for the youth wing through merchandise sales. The sum was transferred to Syed Saddiq's personal Maybank account.

Throughout the trial, the defence has maintained that these funds from two fundraiser events were to reimburse the MP for his own personal monies spent on his election campaign in 2018.

He also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000, believed to be proceeds of unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.

Syed Saddiq is accused of committing the offence at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Baru, on June 16 and 19, 2018.

After the submissions closed Judge Azhar informed parties that he will take some time to deliver his decision and informed them that he will set a date for his decision in the near future.

Edited BySurin Murugiah
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