Witness in Bung Moktar’s trial grilled on contradictory statements

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A key prosecution witness in the trial of Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his celebrity wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette A Samad spent the entire morning today answering questions on his contradictory statements in court.

Hazreen Mohamad/NST

The proceedings were tense from the very beginning when the prosecution applied to cross-examine Public Mutual Bhd investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid as a “hostile witness”.

A hostile witness is one who deviates from prior statements made to law enforcement officers and gives evidence favouring the accused persons.

Deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How said Mahdi, who is the 24th prosecution witness, had given a contradictory statement when he testified in court compared to his recorded statement during the investigation.

Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob allowed the application.

Madhi when testifying last month said Bung Moktar did not ask for RM3.5 million commission from him during their meeting at Intercontinental Hotel on May 4, 2015.

However, Madhi during MACC’s investigation on Oct 14, 2016, had said otherwise.

Law: Do you agree with me that the contraction is very material.

Madhi: Yes.

Law: Now I give you a chance to explain why it happened.

Madhi: I gave another statement to the MACC about this case, but it was not included.

Law: What statement?

Madhi: A statement which tallies with my testimony last month.

Madhi explained that his statement was recorded by the MACC last year, four years after his previous statement to the anti-graft body.

He said he might have given two different versions as he was stressed when being investigated by the anti-graft body.

Law: Your last statement to the MACC was on Oct 14, 2016, before you decided to give a new statement on Feb 4, 2021?

Madhi: Yes.

Law: Your statement on Feb 4, 2021, was in line with your testimony in court last month?

Madhi: Yes.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty to two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra’s approval to invest RM150 million in the Public Mutual unit trust.

Bung Moktar, 63, as the then non-executive chairman of Felcra Bhd, was charged with accepting bribes from Madhi through Zizie Izette at Public Bank’s Taman Melawati branch here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty to accepting a cash bribe of RM335,500 from another Public Mutual agent, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, under the name of Zizie Izette for the same reason, at the same place on June 19, 2015.

Zizie Izette, 43, also pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband on the same matter at the same place, date, and time.

The trial continues on Dec 20. – NST