KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered former Umno minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to enter his defence on a charge of accepting a RM2 million (S$655,000) bribe from a businessman in 2016.
High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled on Monday (Oct 14) that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against Tengku Adnan, the former Federal Territories minister.
"I'm satisfied that the prosecution has made out a prima facie case by producing credible evidence to prove each element of the offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which if unrebutted warrants a conviction.
"I therefore order the accused to enter his defence," said Mr Mohamed Zaini in his decision.
Tengku Adnan, who is also Putrajaya MP, was charged on Jan 23 under Section 165 of the Penal Code with accepting RM2 million from Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd managing director Chai Kin Kong via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to his company.
The cheque was deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings on June 14, 2016 when it was known that Aset Kayamas had connection with his official duties as the then Federal Territories minister.
During the trial in July, two witnesses testified that Tengku Adnan was the majority shareholder of Tadmansori Holdings.
Mr Mohamed Zaini said on Monday that the prosecution had managed to establish that Umno never received the RM2 million from Tadmansori Holdings, which was a claim made by the defence.
"In fact, the evidence shows that Tadmansori Holdings has never had any dealings with Umno," he said.
He said that despite the existence of a receipt, allegedly as an acknowledgement that Umno had received RM2 million from Aset Kayamas, there was no corresponding payment made from Tadmansori Holdings to Umno.
"The RM2 million given by (Aset Kayamas managing director Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong) was paid to Tadmansori Holdings, and the trail ended there.
"There was no corresponding payment of RM2 million made to Umno from Tadmansori Holdings; and the (money) trail ended there," he added.
Mr Mohamed Zaini added that it was uncontested that at the time, Tengku Adnan was the Federal Territories Minister; was in the service and pay of the Federal Government at that time; and was entrusted with public duty.
"That Aset Kayamas had paid RM2 million to Tadmansori Holdings through Chai is not disputed.
"The pertinent issue is the purpose for which the payment was made; whether it was for the benefit of the accused, or whether it was a contribution for Umno," he said.
The evidence, he added, has also shown that Tengku Adnan ran Tadmansori Holdings and was the "primary decision maker" for the company.
"He is, basically, the alter ego of the company.
"I am inclined to hold that the RM2 million benefited the accused, and it was received without valuable consideration, which therefore fulfils the second element of Section 165 of the Penal Code," he said, adding that it was established that Aset Kayamas itself had no business dealings with Tadmansori Holdings.
Mr Zaini also said that Tengku Adnan knew that Aset Kayamas had dealings with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), related to the sale and development of DBKL land.
"The testimonies of the witnesses and documentary evidence clearly shows that the accused was involved from the inception," he added.
When asked how he wanted to enter his defence, Tengku Adnan said he will give his sworn evidence from the witness dock.
Justice Mohamed Zaini set Jan 10,2020 for the defence part of the trial to start.
Datuk Tan Hock Chuan represented Tengku Adnan, while prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Julia Ibrahim.