Najib instructed Treasury deputy sec-gen to continue with direct negotiation with Jepak for solar hybrid project.
10.01am: Trial starts with the prosecution resuming its re-examination on former education minister Mahdzir Khalid by lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram and DPP Idham Abdul Ghani.
10.15am: The prosecution wraps up its re-examination on Mahdzir.
Sixth prosecution witness, former Education Ministry secretary-general Madinah Mohamad, is then called into the court to continue her testimony.
10.25am: The court hears from Madinah that she was puzzled why Najib Abdul Razak, then the prime minister and finance minister, issued an order for the solar hybrid project to be carried out without thorough planning and study in 2016.
Madinah testifies that from her experience working under Najib’s leadership, she found Najib as a leader who is visionary, forward-looking and wise.
“Dato Seri Najib was always mindful with costs and needs for the execution of any projects.”
10.39am: Madinah says she would not have entertained Jepak Holdings’ proposal for the solar hybrid project if not for the minutes by Najib.
She tells the court that Jepak did not even provide breakdowns of costing for the project and details of its work scopes.
There was also no certified consultant appointed by the company for the project.
“This solar hybrid project was not even in the Education Ministry’s development plan before this.”
10.48am: Madinah says that Mahdzir had in 2016 complained to her about alleged pressure on him by Najib over the solar hybrid project.
Among the things that Mahdzir complained about was that Najib was upset with the project being delayed.
The minister was also worried about the financial and legal complications that the ministry would face if the existing gen-set contracts to supply electricity to the schools in Sarawak are cancelled to carry out Najib’s orders.
11.20am: Madinah testifies that between Oct 2017 and May 2018, she found out that Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin had a fallout with his business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.
Madinah says she learned this from text messages that Rayyan sent her during that period.
According to her, the text messages seemed like Rayyan was trying to hijack the solar project from Saidi and Jepak.
She says that Rayyan had also threatened her to get her assistance to arrange a meeting between him and Najib so that Rayyan could take over the project.
“Rayyan also told me that he would expose to the opposition about the involvement of the ‘PM’ and ‘Mem’ in acquiring the solar project if I do not help him,” says Madinah.
11.32am: As the prosecution is done with their examination on Madinah, defence lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader requests to the court if he could postpone the cross-examination to tomorrow.
The counsel says he has been tasked to conduct the examination on Madinah but is having a sore throat today.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan then allows the application and tells the prosecution to call their next witness.
11.35am: Court goes for a short break.
11.48am: The hearing resumes with the prosecution calling its seventh witness Othman Semail to the witness stand.
Othman is the Treasury deputy secretary-general.
12.35pm: The court goes for lunch break.
2.15pm: The court resumes with the examination-in-chief by the prosecution on Othman.
2.25pm: Othman testifies that he received an order from Najib on Aug 5, 2016, to continue with direct negotiation with Jepak for the solar hybrid project.
At that time, Othman was the chief of the Finance Ministry’s government acquisition department.
According to Othman, Najib had given him the order through a minute, which Najib wrote on a letter from Jepak dated July 23, 2016.
3.55pm: Othman finishes reading his witness statement.
The defence team informs the court it would not be able to conduct cross-examination today as Akberdin, who is in charge to examine both Othman and Madinah, is unwell.
Akberdin had gone home when the court broke for lunch earlier.
Judge Zaini then agrees for the proceeding to continue tomorrow.
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