Tengku Adnan Bribery Trial: Defence Claims UMNO’s Receipt for RM2 Million Not Forged

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The High Court will decide on November 17 former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s guilt or innocence on his charge of accepting a RM2 million bribe from a businessman three years ago.

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed the date after hearing oral submissions from both sides at the close of the defence stage today.

“I will try to deliver my decision by the date given. The decision, tentatively, is to be delivered on November 17,” he said, adding that he would inform both parties beforehand if he was required to attend any prior commitments around that time.

Mohamed Zaini also instructed both sides to send in their written submissions before October 7 on the admissibility of documents related to the expenditure for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections in 2016.

Earlier, lawyers defending Tengku Adnan told the High Court today that the UMNO official receipt for RM2 million issued to Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong was not a forged document.

Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, who is leading the defence team, said the suggestion by the prosecution that the UMNO official receipt was a forgery was totally untenable as it had always been in the possession of Chai, director of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd (AKSB).

“It is not disputed that my client received the cheque from Tan Sri Chai, who is also the 19th prosecution witness (SP19) a few days before the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections which were held on June 18, 2016. Tan Sri Chai received the UMNO official receipt around June 14, 2016,” Tan said, adding that it was an original receipt and always in Chai’s possession.

He said Chai in his evidence had said that the receipt which was issued by UMNO was kept in his wallet.

Tan who made the argument at the end of defence case, submitted that Chai, the star prosecution witness, was a truthful and reliable witness.

“There is no suggestion by the prosecution that Tan Sri Chai was dishonest and untruthful. His evidence was clear and consistent,” the lawyer said.

Tan further said that during cross-examination of the accused (Tengku Adnan), the prosecution suggested that the UMNO official receipt for RM2 million was a forged document.

“The prosecution suggested that the serial number 376241 (the receipt) for the RM2 million dated June 14, 2016 was an anomaly. The prosecution also suggested that as the accused was arrested on Nov 14, 2018, the next receipt number 376242 was dated Nov 16, 2018,” he said, adding that all these suggestions were denied by his client.

The lawyer said the UMNO receipt issued to Chai for the cheque was given to UMNO as a political donation for expenses in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections.

He said that another prosecution witness, Farahdzilah Abd Kadir (SP21), deputy chief of the Financial Management Department, UMNO headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) had testified that the UMNO official receipt and receipt book were used at random and the receipt book was accessible to many parties.

“This could explain why the dates in the receipt book did not follow the sequence,” Tan said.

He submitted that the evidence of Farahdzilah was supported by the accused, saying that in practice, UMNO official receipts would be issued for donations received by UMNO.

Tan said based on Tengku Adnan’s witness statement, he said if the donation was made to the state UMNO, the receipt would be handled by the state UMNO, not by the UMNO headquarters.

He said the UMNO official receipt books were usually kept at the party’s headquarters.

“Tengku Adnan said the staff of the Finance Department and Administration Department at the UMNO headquarters had access to those official receipt books. There is no strict control of the official receipt books, so other staff also had access to those official receipt books,” Tan added.

He further submitted that when the accused received the RM2 million cheque from Chai on June 14, 2016, it was very close to the date of the by-elections, June 18, 2016.

“It is logical that Tan Sri Chai received the UMNO official receipt on or about June 14, 2016,” he said, adding that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the UMNO official receipt was a forged document.

Bernama

Tengku Adnan, 69, also known as Ku Nan, was charged in his capacity as a public servant, namely, the Federal Territories Minister then, with having accepted for himself RM2 million from Chai via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to AKSB, which was later deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings in which he had an interest, when it was known that Aset Kayamas had connection with his official duties.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Pusat Bandar Damansara branch of CIMB Bank Berhad, here, on June 14, 2016.

The Putrajaya MP was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both, if convicted.

On Oct 14 last year, the High Court ordered him to enter his defence on the charge after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie in the case.

Tengku Adnan chose to testify under oath from the witness stand when the defence proceedings commenced last Jan 17 and completed giving his evidence on March 5.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues.