Former Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman must be found guilty of corruption as his defence has failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case, the High Court heard today.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the prima facie case established at the close of the prosecution’s case was left “unshaken” by the testimony offered by defence witnesses.
The prosecution in this case is led by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, along with Mohd Afif Ali, Muhammad Asyraf Mohamed Tahir and Noor Syafina Mohd Radzuan.
Syed Saddiq, 30, is charged with 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, and he faces a jail term of up to 10 years, whipping and a fine.
He is also charged with misusing RM120,000 of party contributions belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise, a company set up to generate income for Armada through merchandise sales, in April 2018.
This charge is framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, and Syed Saddiq faces a jail term of up to five years, whipping and a fine.
He also faces two charges of engaging in money laundering activities involving two transactions of RM50,000 each, the funds which were believed to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The 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.
He submitted that the credibility of all four defence witnesses had been put in doubt during cross-examination.
“The accused should be found guilty of the white-collar crimes as our case is intact after being challenged by the defence,” he said in his submission at the close of the defence’s case.
Apart from Syed Saddiq, the others who testified for the defence were former Bersatu Youth information chief Ulya Aqamah Husamudin, Syed Saddiq’s special officer Amshar Aziz, and his former aide, Siti Nurul Hidayah.
Wan Shaharuddin said Syed Saddiq had abetted then Bersatu Youth assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali in the commission of criminal breach of trust (CBT) of RM1 million.
“The offence was committed the moment the accused asked Rafiq to withdraw the money,” he said, adding that Syed Saddiq’s testimony amounted to nothing but a bare denial.
DPP Afif Ali, who assisted Wan Shaharuddin, said the testimony of the three defence witnesses must be rejected as they came to court “simply to save the accused”.
“Their evidence was tailored to be consistent with what the accused had testified earlier,” he said, adding that Syed Saddiq’s defence was entirely an afterthought.
Afif also said the evidence of Ulya in court differed from the statement he gave to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission during its investigations.
He said Syed Saddiq had committed the offence of dishonestly misappropriating RM120,000 when he instructed Rafiq to deposit the sum into his personal account.
Defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo claimed that the defence had created a doubt in the prosecution’s case, and called for Syed Saddiq to be acquitted.
“We have discharged our burden by bringing our witnesses to rebut the prosecution’s case. The prosecution’s case has crumbled when tested against the evidence of the defence,” he said.
Gobind said Syed Saddiq could not have abetted as the principal offender, Rafiq, was not shown to have dishonestly withdrawn the RM1 million.
“The prosecution has shifted the goalposts during the trial in order to implicate the accused, but they have failed,” he said.
He said Syed Saddiq had personally raised RM120,000 to contest the Muar parliamentary seat in 2018 but spent RM171,000 based on a statement filed with the Election Commission.
Syed Saddiq, 30, is charged with abetting Rafiq in the commission of CBT amounting to RM1 million at CIMB Bank Bhd on Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 here on March 6, 2020.
The Muda president and Muar MP is also charged with misusing RM120,000 from a bank account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) for himself by causing Rafiq to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking Bhd in Taman Pandan Jaya here between April 8 and April 21, 2018.
He is facing another two counts of money laundering involving two transactions of RM50,000 each, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, transferred from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his ASB account at a bank in Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on June 16 and 19, 2018.
Syed Saddiq’s defence on the CBT charge is that there was no provision in Bersatu’s constitution requiring him to get approval from its Supreme Council for the use of its funds.
On the misappropriation charge, he said he secured the money by personally organising two fundraising projects held in Muar and Ampang.
Justice Azhar Abdul Hamid has reserved his decision.
“I need some time to go through the submissions and will deliver my decision on a date to be fixed,” he said.
Source : FMT