Thursday, November 12, 2009

MACC agent wanted to make political donation?

IPOH, Nov 11 – Former PKR state executive councillor Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, who is on trial for corruption, was under the impression that the agent provocateur who caused his arrest was just interested in helping his party in the Permatang Pauh by-election when he met him last year.

In fact, on the day he had supposedly received a bribe from the agent, there had only been discussion of the by-election and nothing about the RM180mil housing project he had been arrested over.

The startling evidence submitted by the agent himself, Mohamad Imran Abdullah, in court today, throws light on just how far Jamaluddin was involved in the case, and is a departure from the former's original statement.

Jamaluddin was charged alongside his colleague, another former PKR state executive councillor Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, and three others, for allegedly receiving bribes in exchange with helping Mohamad Imran obtain the RM180mil housing development in Seri Iskandar last year.

Jamaluddin however merely faces a single charge involving RM5,000 in cash, which Mohamad Imran had allegedly given to him on Aug 14, 2008, at his office in the Perak State Seceretariat.

The money was allegedly given as gratification to Jamaluddin to help Mohamad Imran secure the project.

During cross-examination of the star witness today however, Mohamad Imran admitted that in his only meeting with Jamaluddin, which was on Aug 14 itself, he had been introduced to the latter as a person who was “interested in helping with the Permatang Pauh by-election”.

The question was put to him by defence counsel Surjan Singh, who asked if his client, another accused, PKR politician Usaili Alias, had made the introduction.

Surjan Singh: Did Usaili tell Jamaluddin that you came to meet him because you were interested in the Permatang Pauh by-election?

Mohamad Imran: Yes, that is true.

Surjan Singh: Did Usaili ask you to bring RM5,000 to give to Jamaluddin.

Mohamad Imran: No, he did not ask.

Surjan Singh: Who was the one who told you that the money was to go to Permatang Pauh as well as to help secure the project?

Mohamad Imran: (Another accused former Perak Development Corporation technician) Ruslan (Sahat) was the one who asked for it.

Surjan Singh: Whatever Ruslan asked for, we would never know, but to Usaili, Ruslan had said that it was for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Mohamad Imran: That, I do not know.

Surjan Singh then drew the court’s attention to a report that Mohamad Imran had met with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after his meeting with Jamaluddin at the latter’s office on Aug 14.

Surjan Singh: You said in your report that the money was for Permatang Pauh and to help secure the project but actually, during your meeting, they never once spoke about your project. It was you who brought up the topic of the project but they never spoke about it. Only you did.

Mohamad Imran gave a long pause and appeared to be trying to recall the events of Aug 14 and when he finally responded, he agreed with Surjan Singh.

In his testimony yesterday, Mohamad Imran had also said that both Jamaluddin and Usaili had been avidly discussing the by-election and political matters during his meeting.

He said that when he mentioned his project, Jamaluddin had merely nodded his head.

During the earlier hearings in court, Mohamad Imran had also mentioned that when he had produced the RM5,000 in marked ringgit notes to Jamaluddin, the latter had not touched the money.

He had also admitted that the words “contribution for Permatang Pauh” had been used during the exchange of the money.

The money, Mohamad Imran had added, had subsequently been passed to Usaili, under orders from Jamaluddin.

At the time of the incident, Usaili was the election director for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

During the hearing later today, Surjan Singh decided several times to give a “Bahasa Malaysia” lesson to Mohamad Imran whom he claimed was having trouble understanding the language.

Mohamad Imran had claimed that the words “dalam pertemuan sama” (in the same meeting), which were used in his report on Aug 14, had meant the entire events that had taken place in the Perak State Secretariat that day and not just his meeting with Jamaluddin.

Surjan Singh: In your report, you said “in the same meeting, Usaili had asked for another RM5,000 and told me to meet him tomorrow.” But this is not true because during the meeting with Jamaluddin, Usaili never asked for the money.

Mohamad Imran: In the (Jamaluddin’s) room, he did not. But he asked for it on the way out towards the lift.

Surjan Singh: Mr Imran, the words “in the same meeting”, it refers to the meeting with Jamaluddin. Are you stupid? If you cannot understand Bahasa Malaysia, don’t you worry, I can teach it to you.

Looking angry, Mohamad Imran replied that he disagreed with Surjan Singh.

Later the witness and the counsel clashed again over another discrepancy in Mohamad Imran’s report, causing Surjan Singh to tell him again that he needed to learn Bahasa Malaysia.

In his report on the events of Aug 14 at the Sri Sayang Apartments in Penang, Mohamad Imran had claimed that he had given RM2,000 to Ruslan and two other accused, former Perak Tengah district councillor Zul Hassan and businessman Fairul Azrim Ismail.

Despite admitting that the money had not only been requested by Ruslan but also given directly into his hands, Mohamad Imran still maintained that his report was accurate.

Surjan Singh: Your report that you gave the cash to all three men was not true because in the videos, you were seen only giving the money to Ruslan.

Mohamad Imran: The report is correct because the others were there too.

Surjan Singh: Imran, Ruslan was alone in the living room when you gave him the money.

Mohamad Imran: Yes, he was alone. But the others were around in the apartment unit.

Judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh looked up at this and repeated Surjan Singh’s question on behalf of the counsel.

“So you are saying that your report is accurate?” he asked Mohamad Imran.

Mohamad Imran: Correct, Tuan. Because they (Ruslan, Zul, Fairul) were all in the unit. Including (MACC officer) Norliza (Musa).

Norliza had gone undercover in the case as Mohamad Imran’s girlfriend.

At this testimony, Surjan Singh stared at Mohamad Imran and said, much to the amusement of everyone in court, “Oh? You say Liza was in the unit too, right? And that just because the others were in the room, they too received the RM2,000 bribe from you? So you are saying that Liza is one of them now? She too received the money? Then why isn’t she sitting here in this dock with the others?”

As he spoke, Surjan Singh gestured to where the five accused were seated.

Mohamad Imran look stumped at the exclamation and took some time before he answered, “What I meant was that they were all inside the unit.”

The hearing proceeds tomorrow.

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