Prosecution claims a huge chunk of Syed Saddiq’s statement relating to the RM1 million withdrawn from Armada was a lie or an afterthought.
Muar Member of Parliament Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the High Court here that he had never directed Rafiq Hakim Razali and Ahmad Redzuan Mohamed Shafi to withdraw RM1 million from the account of central Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada).
The former Armada chief said he had never discussed with then Armada assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim and then Armada assistant secretary Ahmad Redzuan separately from other Armada G5 leadership members to order them to withdraw the RM1 million.
“The allegations of Rafiq Hakim (13th prosecution witness) and Ahmad Redzuan (11th PW) are mere lies,” he said when reading out his witness statement on the first day of proceedings in his defence against four charges of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering.
Syed Saddiq, 30, said that in early March 2020, the G5 leadership held discussions on withdrawing money to face the Covid-19 pandemic and making preparations for Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2020, and for that, the G5 leadership ordered Rafiq Hakim to discuss with the Armada exco to get the amount required for extending the aid.
According to him, Ulya, Aizad, Rafiq Hakim and Ahmad Redzuan were involved in the discussions at all times and there was no specific mention of the RM1 million.
“The discussions were held in the guest hall of my house, an open space, so it was impossible for me to hold private talks with Rafiq Hakim and Ahmad Redzuan without being heard or seen by Ulya and Aizad.
“I never said the funds in Armada’s CIMB Bank account were the result of my work throughout my tenure as Armada chief,” he said, adding that the funds belonged to all Armada members for the use of Armada.
The cross-examination, handled by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, saw Syed Saddiq at the receiving end of rapid-fire questions.
Wan Shaharuddin did not hold back in tearing up the accused’s statement.
He opened the cross-examination by questioning Syed Saddiq about his relationship with his friends, who were called as prosecution witnesses previously.
However, things took a turn when Wan Shaharuddin said a huge chunk of Syed Saddiq’s statement, relating to the RM1 million withdrawn from Armada was a lie or an afterthought.
This was contended by the accused himself when he disagreed with the series of such suggestions.
Wan Shaharuddin: There needs to be paperwork, in order to withdraw RM1 million.
Syed Saddiq: Not true.
Wan Shaharuddin: It’s among the biggest amount withdrawn.
Syed Saddiq: Not true. As far as I remember, there were other big amounts withdrawn such as during the Tanjung Piai by-election. I’m not sure of the amount, but it’s a huge amount. There was no paperwork (for the withdrawal).
Wan Shaharuddin: I put it to you that you lied and you like to show off what you do to the public on social media.
Syed Saddiq: Not true.
Wan Shaharuddin: I put it to you, that the charges against you are not related to political vengeance.
Syed Saddiq: There are relations.
On Oct 28 last year, Syed Saddiq was ordered to enter his defence on the four charges after the court found that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him at the end of the prosecution case.
The Johor Baru-born Syed Saddiq was charged as the then Bersatu Youth wing or Armada chief, who was entrusted with control of its funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim with CBT of RM1mil in funds belonging to the wing at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 here on March 6, 2020.
The Muda president was also charged with misusing RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise, for himself by causing Rafiq Hakim to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking Bhd, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya here between April 8 and 21, 2018.
He also faces two counts of engaging in money-laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Baru, on June 16 and 19, 2018.
Hearing before Justice Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid continues.