I carried two bags of cash into Rosmah's house, witness tells Malaysian court

Rosmah Mansor, wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, faces two charges of graft involving RM187.5 million related to projects to provide electricity to schools in Sarawak. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The personal driver of a company managing director implicated in the graft trial of Rosmah Mansor told the High Court that he carried two backpacks filled with cash into her house.

Mr Shamsul Rizal Sharbini, 43, said that Mr Saidi Abang Samsudin, who is Jepak Holdings' managing director, had told him to buy the backpacks after dropping him off at a Maybank branch in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

Mr Shamsul is the fourth witness in the corruption trial of Rosmah, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak.

The driver said that after buying the bags, he went back to the Maybank branch and was instructed to bring the bags inside.

"On the upper floors of the bank, Saidi told me to put bundles of cash in RM100 (S$33.60) note denominations into the two bags.

"I didn't count the money as my job was just to put the bundles into the bags," he told the court on Thursday (Feb 6).

A previous witness, Maybank chief cashier Azimah Aziz had told the High Court on Wednesday (Feb 6) on the first day of Rosmah's trial that Mr Saidi withdrew RM6.5 million cash in 2016 and 2017 from his account.

Ms Azimah, 38, was the third prosecution witness and was previously from the Medan Tuanku Maybank branch, where the withdrawals were made.

She said the withdrawal of RM5 million was made in 2016, while another RM1.5 million was taken out in 2017.

Mr Shamsul said that after he filled the two bags with cash, he drove his boss to a mall to pick up Mr Saidi's business partner, Mr Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, before heading to Najib's house in Jalan Langgak Duta.

The driver said he then helped to carry the backpacks into the house.

"I didn't know what to do because no one gave me any orders at the time. At the time, Saidi, Rayyan and Datuk Rizal Mansor (Rosmah's aide) were having a conversation," he said.

He added that it was then that he heard Mr Saidi asking Mr Rizal: "Where is madam?" to which Mr Rizal replied: "Madam is upstairs".

Mr Shamsul said he placed the cash-filled two backpacks on a green sofa.

He added that the incident happened in 2017 but could not remember the exact time and date.

He was testifying in the corruption trial where Rosmah faces two charges of graft involving RM187.5 million related to projects to provide electricity to schools in Sarawak.

According to the first charge, Rosmah was accused of soliciting for herself a RM187.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi, through her former aide Mr Rizal.

In April last year, Rosmah was charged again for allegedly receiving a bribe of RM5 million from Mr Saidi through Mr Rizal, for the same purpose.

During cross-examination, defence counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader asked about the colour of the backpacks Shamsul had carried.

Mr Shamsul replied he carried black backpacks with orange lining.

The money was allegedly a reward for helping Jepak Holdings obtain a project, through direct negotiations with the Malaysian education ministry, to install solar hybrid systems and for the maintenance and operation of diesel generators for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The project was valued at RM1.25 billion, with the RM187.5 million being 15 per cent of that amount.

Rosmah faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.

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