KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The High Court trying Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for the misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust (CBT) of more than RM1 million today heard from a prosecution witness that he felt intimidated by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers into testifying against the former youth and sports minister.
Abdul Hannaan Khairy, the editor of media company Serious Kool Media, said he was asked about other cases while questioned by MACC officers and was afraid that he would be charged too, which was why he decided to testify against Syed Saddiq, who was his former employer.
According to the 29-year-old Hannaan, Syed Saddiq had asked him to backdate quotations and receipts made out to the tune of RM250,000 for the supply of baju raya, songkok, songket as well as accessories and gifts for the youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which also goes by the name Armada, in 2020.
But Syed Saddiq's counsel Gobind Singh Deo sought to rebut the allegation. During cross-examination, Gobind encouraged Hanaan to relate how the MACC officers had interrogated him when taking down his statements.
Gobind: You were afraid when at MACC headquarters because they were trying to implicate you in other cases correct?
Hannaan: I'm not sure.
Gobind: Think again, they asked you about other cases right and you were afraid of being accused in those cases right?
Gobind: So you're willing to testify and lie because you are afraid of being accused by MACC in other cases? This is a court, do not be afraid, you can say it.
Instead of replying immediately, Hannaan suddenly sought permission for a restroom break.
"Can I go to the toilet?" the 10th prosecution witness asked.
But the judge told him to answer the question first, to which Hannaan curtly said: "Yes".
After the toilet break, Hannaan related that the MACC had confiscated the Volkswagen Pulsar he bought in early 2020 and kept it with them for a year and that he had been subjected to questions concerning his ownership of the car.
Gobind then asked Hannaan if he was worried that action could be taken against him for being in possession of that car, and the witness replied "Yes".
Hannaan added that he subsequently got the car back and that no legal action had been taken against him to date.
Gobind then changed the line of questioning and asked Hannaan how he felt after hearing his wife Siti Nurul Hidayah claim that she had been abused and threatened by some MACC officers, which were subsequently rejected by the anti-corruption body.
Siti Nurul was Syed Saddiq's aide at the time of the incidents.
Hannaan said he was sad and disappointed.
Gobind: Watching all these things happen to you and your wife, did you feel pressured by MACC officers to give them the answers thy were looking for?
Gobind: So based on all your testimony, do you agree that you were in constant fear leading up to today when you had to give your statement in court?
Gobind: And are you also afraid of the MACC officers who are accompanying you?
Hannaan: Your Honour, may I not answer this question?
Gobind: But your statements here shows that you were under lots of pressure by MACC correct?
Hannaan: Parts of it, yes.
Syed Saddiq is charged with abetting accused of abetting then Armada party assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali in committing CBT of the wing’s funds amounting to RM1 million.
Syed Saddiq allegedly withdrew RM1 million via a CIMB Bank Bhd cheque without obtaining prior permission from the Bersatu supreme leadership council.
He was later slapped with a second charge of misappropriating RM120,000 belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise in Maybank Islamic Berhad for his own use, which allegedly resulted in Rafiq disposing of the money.
The RM120,000 were apparently political contributions for the GE14 campaign raised through a Maybank Islamic Berhad account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise at Maybank Islamic Berhad, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya between April 8 and 21, 2018.
For these charges under Section 403 of the Penal Code, Syed Saddiq faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine if found guilty.
On August 5, 2021, Syed Saddiq was hit with two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
He was accused of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, which is believed to be proceeds from illegal activities.
The trial resumes tomorrow with the defence cross examining Ahmed Redzuan Mohamed Shafi, a former aide to Syed Saddiq.