Gobind Singh Deo is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 23, 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
By R. Loheswar
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 3:58 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo challenged the relevance of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer’s testimony against Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman after the investigator appeared not to know the charges facing the former minister.
Gobind took the approach after deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin sought for MACC investigator Mohd Taufik Awaludin to testify about Syed Saddiq’s affairs beyond the scope of his case today.
This included text messages obtained from the phone of then Armada party assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali, to which Gobind objected.
During questioning, Gobind asked Taufik to enumerate the charges against Syed Saddiq.
When the MACC officer said three, Gobind said there were four and questioned how an investigator who has worked the case for three years did not know this information.
“I was confused,” Taufik responded, saying he started off investigating Syed Saddiq over a separate matter that he insisted was related to the current charges.
When he attempted to continue, Gobind asked Taufik to explain how he came to believe there was a link.
“After I replaced the first investigative officer, he said there’s a connection there,” Taufik said.
When the lawyer asked if that was the sole basis of his belief, Taufik said also examined some previous witness statements.
Syed Saddiq is charged with abetting accused of abetting the party’s assistant treasurer Rafiq in committing CBT of the wing’s funds amounting to RM1 million.
Syed Saddiq allegedly withdrew RM1 million via a CIMB Bank Bhd cheque without obtaining prior permission from the Bersatu supreme leadership council.
He was later slapped with a second charge of misappropriating RM120,000 belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise in Maybank Islamic Berhad for his own use, which allegedly resulted in Rafiq disposing of the money.
The RM120,000 were apparently political contributions for the GE14 campaign raised through a Maybank Islamic Berhad account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise at Maybank Islamic Berhad, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya between April 8 and 21, 2018.
For these charges under Section 403 of the Penal Code, Syed Saddiq faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine if found guilty.
On August 5, 2021, Syed Saddiq was hit with two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
He was accused of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, which is believed to be proceeds from illegal activities.