KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) digital forensic officer had on Monday (Aug 28) denied providing an incomplete report with regards to a conversation between businessman G Gnanaraja and former senior director of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) Datuk Ahmad Zarul Mohd Zulkifli, which was earlier not tendered in Lim Guan Eng’s graft trial.
Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Yusof, the eighth prosecution witness in Lim’s undersea tunnel graft trial disagreed with such suggestions made by lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo during the trial at the Sessions Court here.
Gobind had suggested that Wan Mohd Firdaus did not provide the full forensic report of the conversation, compared to the report in Gnanaraja’s cheating case which was previously heard at the Shah Alam Sessions court where there were discussions on "chocolates" and "big boss".
The "chocolates" and "big boss", Lim’s defence contended, referred to the purported “money” and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and this bit was earlier missing in the report in the former Penang chief minister’s trial.
Through Wan Mohd Firdaus, the defence tendered the full forensic report over the conversation.
The witness agreed with Gobind that he was asked by his superior to do a forensic investigation on Zarul Ahmad’s handphone on November 2019.
Gobind: If we look at this (Lim’s) trial, there is an incomplete report over the discussion between Gnanaraja and Zarul and questions surrounding the true identity of "big boss".
Wan Firdaus: I do not agree.
Gobind: I put it to you that in this case, you are given a specific directive to remove the earlier discussion in order to suppress evidence and to implicate my client (Lim). This is a clear-cut attempt to fix him up?
Wan Firdaus: I do not know.
The witness agreed that he was asked to prepare the forensic report to Gnanaraja’s case in Shah Alam and the conversation was between Gnanaraja and Zarul Ahmad.
When confronted about the discrepancy of his report here in Lim’s case and Gnanaraja’s case, Wan Firdaus said the report in Gnanaraja’s case was tabled more than a year before Lim’s case and he could not remember.
As Gobind pressured the MACC officer further, Wan Firdaus said there were several other MACC officers looking at both Gnanaraja and Zarul’s handphone and doing forensic on it.
He further denied the discrepancy in Gnanaraja’s forensic report and the one brought to Lim’s case.
Gobind: I put it to you that you intend to suppress the evidence in this court by hiding the fact that "chocolates" refer to bribes and "big boss" refers to Najib and the date July 23, 2017 refers to the former premier’s birthday?
Wan Firdaus: I disagree.
When re-examined by MACC deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Laden, Wan Firdaus denied he knew what "chocolates" meant in the conversation between Gnanaraja and Zarul.
The MACC officer also denied knowing whether the word “big boss” in the conversation referred to the former chief minister or otherwise.
Lim, 62, the Member of Parliament for Bagan, is accused of using his position as then Penang chief minister to solicit a 10% cut in the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project’s profits from Zarul Ahmad, in return for aiding the businessman (Zarul)’s company to secure the project.
Lim is accused of accepting RM3.3 million in kickbacks from Zarul.
The DAP chairman also faces two counts of dishonest misappropriation of property in releasing two plots of state-owned land, cumulatively worth RM208.75 million, to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd — two property companies linked to the controversial undersea tunnel project.
Gnanaraja was earlier charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court in 2019 with deceiving Zarul for RM19 million in relation to the Penang undersea tunnel project. Gnanaraja is alleged to have deceived the director sometime between July and August 2017.
In October last year, it was revealed that Gnanaraja’s case in Shah Alam had been classified as no further action.
According to the MACC’s website, Gnanaraja was instead found guilty by the Sessions Court under the Companies Act 2016 and fined RM230,000 for using a company’s property with a value of RM11.42 million, to obtain direct profit for himself without seeking approval at a company’s shareholder meeting.
Lim’s graft hearing before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi continues on Sept 18.