Rizal denies RM5m bribe from Jepak was for him, not Rosmah

Datuk Rizal Mansor (far right) (File pic by The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): Datuk Rizal Mansor today denied that the RM5 million cash from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd that was delivered to Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, was meant for him and not his ex-boss Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Rosmah’s counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh suggested that the witness had asked Jepak to pay him RM5 million per year for five years as a reward for his help in securing the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

While Rizal admitted that he had asked Jepak's former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin for the purported bribe, he reiterated that the money sent to Seri Perdana sometime in December 2016 was for Rosmah, and not for him.

Jagjit then suggested that the money could not have been delivered to Seri Perdana as Rosmah was at her private residence in Jalan Langgak Duta that day, which the 45-year-old former special aide refuted.

Jagjit: Would you agree that the RM5 million cash payment Saidi paid could have been the first instalment that he may have paid to you?

Rizal: Yes.

Jagjit: So the money which Saidi gave through Lawrence Tee Kien Moon who accepted it could have been meant for you instead, and not for Rosmah.

Rizal: I disagree.

Jagjit: I put it to you that you are lying in court as on that day (Dec 20, 2016), Rosmah was not at Seri Perdana but was at her home in Jalan Langgak Duta.

Rizal: I disagree.

Rosmah, who is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is on trial for three charges, namely soliciting a RM187.5 million bribe for helping Jepak gain the project, and obtaining a bribe of RM6.5 million, of which RM5 million was purportedly received by her in Seri Perdana on Dec 20, 2016 and the remaining RM1.5 million at her house in Jalan Langgak Duta in 2017.

Initially, when Rosmah was slapped with the additional RM5 million bribe charge, the charge sheet stated she had received the money at her Jalan Langgak Duta home, but the prosecution had later amended it to Seri Perdana, which is the official residence of the prime minister.

Several witnesses in the trial, including Saidi, had testified that two bags containing cash were delivered to Seri Perdana, sometime in December 2016 after Tee reportedly refused to receive the cash and had prepared a consultancy agreement, as purportedly suggested by Rosmah.

Rizal had testified last week that after the two bags of money were picked up by the Seri Perdana butlers, he immediately met Rosmah who asked him how much and he replied “five”, meaning RM5 million.

Witness agrees money could have been for Umno, Najib

Rizal agreed with Jagjit that after the RM5 million cash was delivered, he received RM500,000 from Saidi, who was referred to as “musang king”.

The witness agreed with the lawyer that the money was a bribe, which was part of the RM5 million that he would receive every year.

Jagjit also asked Rizal if the purported bribe could have been intended as a political donation for Umno and Najib, and not specifically Rosmah. The witness initially agreed.

However, when pressured by the senior counsel, Rizal said he could not verify if the funds were indeed used for political purposes.

The trial before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan will resume on Thursday, as tomorrow is the Malaysia Day public holiday.

Lam Jian Wyn