Butlers received two luggage bags of cash delivered for ‘Ma’am’: Witness

KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): Two butlers were present at the door of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s official residence in Putrajaya to receive two luggage bags of cash, a witness told the court today.

The two butlers assisted Datuk Rizal Mansor, the special aide to Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, when he arrived at the Prime Minister’s official Seri Perdana residence in Putrajaya, taking the luggage bags from the Alphard vehicle Rizal had arrived in.

When Rizal came back out, he was empty-handed.

This was revealed by Datuk Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin, the ninth witness in Rosmah’s solar graft trial.

Ahmed Farriq testified that he had accompanied Rizal to Sri Perdana to deliver the luggage. When they arrived, he was asked to wait inside the car while Rizal went into the house to speak with ‘Ma’am’ for half an hour.

In his testimony, Ahmed Farriq, a businessman in the oil and gas industry, said he knew “Ma’am” referred to Rosmah.

“I knew this because I have been close friends with Rizal since 2014 and Rizal would frequently use the term ‘Ma’am’ to refer to Rosmah,” the witness said.

The witness learned that the two luggages purportedly containing cash were for “Ma’am” prior to arriving at Sri Perdana when Rizal told him that he had to deliver “something” to her at her residence.

The two friends had earlier been at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur to have drinks at the mall when Rizal revealed to the witness that he was in fact waiting for a delivery.

According to the witness, while having coffee, Rizal received a phone call, after which both of them ended up going next door to the Pavilion Officer Tower.

In a series of quick events, Ahmed Farriq, who was told to wait at the lobby, witnessed Rizal take the lift up with two unknown men holding two black luggage bags.

They later returned to the lobby and placed the two bags into the Alphard, and subsequently the witness and Rizal made their way to Putrajaya.

The facts of this event are similar to the testimony of the eighth witness in the case, Razak Othman, a businessman who accompanied Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd Saidi Abang Samsuddin to deliver two luggage bags to Pavilion Tower and later into the trunk of a vehicle.

Razak had earlier testified that Saidi had withdrawn money from the bank amounting to RM5 million and had placed the money into two luggage bags.

“Rizal told me that in the two bags there was money but he did not say how much. I don’t know if both bags had money in them but I figured it did. I also asked him what was our purpose in going to Putrajaya to which he replied ‘I need to give something to Ma'am’,” he said.

After a short series of cross-examination questions, senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram then conducted his re-examination and asked the following questions.

Sri Ram: Which house did the butlers emerge from?

Ahmed Farriq: Sri Perdana

Sri Ram: You saw them remove the bags?

Ahmed Farriq: Yes.

Sri Ram: And where did Rizal Mansor go?

Ahmed Farriq: He followed them into the house.

Sri Ram: Did the bags returned to the car?

Ahmed Farriq: No sir.

In May last year, the prosecution amended the second solar project bribery charge faced by Rosmah, by changing the locality of the alleged crime from her Taman Duta residence to the official residence of the Prime Minister in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya.

Rosmah is facing charges of soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin between January and April 2016, and allegedly receiving RM5 million and RM1.5 million in 2016 and 2017.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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