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Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful’s money laundering, graft trial begins today

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The corruption trial involving Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan who stands accused of bribery and money laundering begins at the Session Court today.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmaker’s trial before Session Court judge Rozina Ayub is scheduled to run for 22 days from March to August, and the prosecution is expected to call up to 50 witnesses to testify.

It is understood that among the witnesses who will be called are employees of banks and the Companies Commission of Malaysia, as well as politicians.

Charged in February and October last year, Wan Saiful had then decried the criminal charges against him as an attempt by the government to divert public attention from its various failures.

Wai Saiful is being represented by lawyer Chetan Jethwani.

In this trial, Wan Saiful is facing 18 money laundering charges involving RM5.59 million, by transferring and using the illegal proceeds to pay for the purchase of a Ford Ranger vehicle, making payments to the Malaysian National Sports Council and transferring money to several company accounts, including one belonging to media group Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd.

The offences were allegedly committed between August 12 and November 13, 2022.

He is also facing two bribery charges as well, where the former Bersatu information chief is accused of soliciting and accepting bribes of RM6.9 million.

For the bribery charges, Wan Saiful allegedly solicited bribes from one Lian Tan Chuan, as an inducement to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd secure the RM232 million ‘Central Spine Road: Sertik to East Coast Highway Interchange’ project from the government, at the pre-qualification stage.

He is also accused of accepting RM6,962,694.54 in cash for himself, through his company WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd’s CIMB Bank account, from the Maybank Islamic account belonging to Nepturis, as a reward for helping the company obtain a Letter of Acceptance for the project.

The two bribery offences were allegedly committed between April and September 30, 2022.

This comes as last week in Parliament, Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanafi submitted a motion to refer Wan Saiful to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee over the latter’s statement claiming that he played a role as an ‘agent’ in persuading Perikatan Nasional MPs to support the government.

Earlier this month, he had claimed that he was repeatedly “offered rewards” in exchange for his support for the prime minister — prompting a warning of six-month suspension from Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul.

The government later retracted its motion to suspend Wan Saiful after he retracted his statement and offered an apology to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the King.