KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): Datuk Rizal Mansor today told the High Court here that Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor never solicited money for herself or sought money directly from the former managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin, regarding the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The former special officer to Rosmah also agreed with counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh, representing the former prime minister’s wife, that Rosmah never sought money directly from Saidi’s business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah relating to the project.

Rizal, 46, said he arranged the first meeting between Rosmah, Saidi and Rayyan at Rosmah’s house in Langgak Duta between January and February 2016 for the purpose of political donation, and the witness also agreed with the counsel that it was his duty to get Rosmah involved in this matter.

The 21st prosecution witness said this during cross-examination by the defence’s lawyer in the trial of Rosmah, who is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi.

Jagjit: Despite your getting Datin Seri Rosmah involved (in the meeting), she at that time never asked or solicited for money.

Rizal: Yes.

The key prosecution witness told the court that Jepak intended to contribute to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as a token of appreciation for the minutes given by Najib to the company and to ensure Barisan Nasional’s victory in the next general election.

Asked by Jagjit if it was because Saidi and Rayyan did not want to disturb Najib that they intended to contribute the money through Rosmah, Rizal replied, yes.

Jagjit: I put it to you, your evidence that Saidi and Rayyan offered a huge political donation to Rosmah is a false statement. This is because in your witness statement, you mentioned ‘through Rosmah’ and not ‘to Rosmah’.

Rizal: Yes, wrong choice of words.

Meanwhile, Rizal said he had intended to contest for the UMNO Youth chief post in 2017 and agreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that he needed a lot of money for that purpose.

“You agree that the monies ought to assist you in your political ambition as UMNO Youth chief, were all the corrupt monies. You received corrupt monies for this purpose,” said Jagjit, and the witness said, yes.

Rizal also said he never told Rosmah about his intention to be a candidate for UMNO Youth chief and agreed with the counsel that he did a lot of things without Rosmah’s knowledge.

According to the charges, Rosmah, 68, was alleged to have received the bribes through Rizal as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets, for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.

The offences were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra here; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and September 2017.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. – Bernama