Thursday, October 15, 2009

I did not force the bribe

IPOH: A prosecution witness told a corruption trial he did not force RM9,000 on a former Perak Tengah district councillor in exchange for help in obtaining a project in Seri Iskandar.

Businessman Mohamad Imran Abdullah, 34, whose testimony was based on a video recording shown in the Sessions Court here Thrusday, said PKR politician Usaili Alias did not push away the money that was handed over to him on the evening of Aug 11, 2008.

Mohamad Imran, who acted as the agent provocateur for the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), said he had recorded the transaction at the Excelsior Hotel coffee house here with a pinhole camera given to him by officials from the agency.
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”I took out RM9,000 from my briefcase and counted the money into stacks of RM1,000 before handing it to Usaili.

”He did not refuse the money and I did not force him to accept it,” Mohamad Imran said, adding that ACA officer Norliza Musa, who was posing as his girlfriend, Usaili’s wife and Perak Development Corporation technician Ruslan Sahat were also present at the time.

Mohamad Imran was testifying against Usaili, 56, who with former PKR executive councillors Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, 57, and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, 52, former Perak Tengah district councillor Zul Hassan, 45, and businessman Fairul Azrim Ismail, 31, face various corruption charges over the proposed multimillion-ringgit development project.

They allegedly committed the offences to help Mohamad Imran obtain the project.

Ruslan was previously charged along with the five accused but the charges against him were dropped following his death in August.

Earlier, the court had watched from the same recording how Mohamad Imran handed over RM1,400 to Ruslan before Usaili and his wife arrived at the coffee house.

”The video shows me counting the money and handing it over to Ruslan. He put the money in his shirt pocket,” Mohamad Imran testified.

The court was shown a total of four video recordings during Thursday’s trial.

According to Mohamad Imran, the first recording was taken during a meeting with Ruslan at the same hotel on Aug 6, 2008, while the second was of their meeting at the First Coffee House here two days later.

Both recordings were made using pinhole cameras.

The third recording, made using a video camera from the ACA, was of a site visit at the location of the proposed project with Ruslan, Usaili and Zul on Aug 10, 2008.

Mohamad Imran told the court he had handed over RM1,000 to Usaili during the site visit but failed to catch it on tape as he was holding the video camera at the time.

Hearing before Judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh continues next Tuesday.

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