Syed Saddiq’s lawyers seek to impeach key prosecution witness Rafiq

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Seeking to discredit Rafiq’s testimony, defence claimed that his oral evidence contradicted his written witness statement.

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s legal team is seeking to discredit the testimony of a former Bersatu treasurer in the Muar MP’s RM1.2 million misappropriation case.

The former youth and sports minister’s legal team informed the Kuala Lumpur High Court that they seek impeachment proceedings over the evidence given by key prosecution witness Rafiq Hakim Razali.

Defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo told judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid that Rafiq’s oral evidence is inconsistent.

An impeachment proceeding is one where one party seeks to discredit the testimony of a witness due to his or her allegedly not telling the truth or having been inconsistent.

Gobind claimed that Rafiq’s oral evidence contradicted his written witness statement.

“We have two versions in court, the defence is saying that neither is true, they contradict each other. We wish to impeach his credibility as a witness,” the lawyer said.

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin then informed the court that this is the first time that an accused’s defence team sought to impeach a witness based on the alleged contradiction between oral evidence and the written witness statement.

The prosecutor also pointed out that Rafiq himself during the trial today admitted that there existed contradictions between his answers during cross-examination by Gobind and what was stated in his (Rafiq) written witness statement.

Azhar then set tomorrow morning to hear submissions from both parties in the impeachment proceedings against the witness.

Previously, Rafiq testified that Syed Saddiq ordered him to “clear” RM1 million of funds from Bersatu’s youth wing following an MACC probe.

The lawmaker is on trial over four criminal charges linked to his time as then Bersatu youth chief in 2020. After being booted out of Bersatu, he since formed Muda, a youth-based party.

The case involved the alleged misuse of funds from the ruling political party’s youth wing.

Earlier today, Rafiq conceded that there was the possibility of MACC pressuring him to ‘fix up’ Syed Saddiq.

During cross-examination by Gobind, the witness made the concession regarding what transpired when he was remanded by MACC in 2020 as part of the investigation involving the accused.

Rafiq had previously testified that the six-day remand took a heavy toll on him as the MACC allegedly “broke” him down.

Gobind: (MACC) Brought pressure on all of you (Rafiq and a few other Bersatu youth leaders). It was a fix-up against Syed Saddiq and MACC pressured all of you so you sing to their tune.

Rafiq: That one you have to ask MACC whether they want to put pressure.

Gobind: You do not deny that?

Rafiq: The possibility is there, but I do not know. You can ask MACC.

On one of the four charges, namely for criminal breach of trust (CBT), Syed Saddiq, 29, in his capacity as then Bersatu Youth chief entrusted with party funds, allegedly committed the offence by withdrawing RM1 million via a CIMB Bank Berhad cheque without the permission of the party’s Supreme Council.

He was purported to have committed the offence at CIMB Bank Berhad, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur, on March 6, 2020.

The CBT charge is framed under Section 405 of the Penal Code, and punishable under Section 406 of the same law, which provides a jail term of up to 10 years, with whipping and a fine as well, upon conviction.

Syed Saddiq was also charged with misusing RM120,000 in contributions for the 14th general election campaign raised through a Maybank Islamic Berhad account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) at Maybank Islamic Berhad, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya, between April 8 and 21, 2018.

He may be imprisoned for up to five years, with whipping and a fine as well, if found guilty of the offence framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code.

He was also charged with two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 alleged to be proceeds of unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on June 16 and June 19, 2018.

These charges fall under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which are punishable under Section 4 (1) of the same Act, providing maximum imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount, or the proceeds of the illegal activities. – Malaysiakini