There was conspiracy against Bung Mokhtar, Zizie Izette - Witness

18 Mar 2022 08:29pm
 Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, today. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - The Sessions Court here hearing a corruption case involving Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife, Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad with regard to Felcra's investment in Public Mutual Berhad's unit trust was told that there was a conspiracy to charge the couple.

Unit trust consultant Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 45, who is the prosecution's key witness in the couple's corruption trial, said she felt the conspiracy existed when the recording of her conversation was taken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on June 22, 2016.

"Yes, I can feel that...because the MACC officer said 'we will call you again to record the conversation' because what I tried to say on the first day (June 22, 2016) the recording of the conversation taken was not accepted," she said when questioned by lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran representing Zizie Izette during the trial before Judge Rozina Ayob.

The 25th prosecution witness was recalled for cross-examination after being deemed a hostile witness in the prosecution case under Section 154 of the Evidence Act 1950.

Answering Kumaraendran's question, Norhaili said when she was called to testify at the Putrajaya MACC Office on June 22, 2016, she was not informed of the investigation being conducted by MACC officers.

However, the prosecution's key witness agreed with Kumaraendran that the recording of the conversation should have been taken by MACC officers as it was related to Felcra's investment in Public Mutual.

Kumaraendaran: I put it to you that when you testified to MACC officers on June 22, 2016, they stated that your testimony was 'nonsense' and ‘rubbish'.

Norhaili: I’m not sure of the (actual) sentence used, but it sounds like it.

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Kumaraendran: Do you agree if I say that you felt very depressed, emotional and disturbed when these MACC officers asked you to admit that Bung Moktar and Zizie accepted bribes related to the Felcra unit trust investment.

Norhaili: Yes.

Asked by lawyer Ridha Abdah Subri, who represented Bung Moktar, about how she felt when she came to the MACC office, Norhaili said she was very scared as that was her first experience of being called up by the authorities.

To Ridha Abdah's question, the witness said she had given a lengthy statement when questioned by MACC officers, but when the report was examined, ‘not everything came out’.

"There are some things (I said) that are not in the report," she said.

According to Norhaili, she wanted to tell the real story right from the beginning of the interrogation, but she did not have the courage to do so.

"Around 2021, I was called by the MACC, but at that time, I did not meet with MACC officers, and instead met one of the members of the prosecution team, namely a woman donning a ‘tudung labuh’.

"When questioned by the prosecution, that was time I had the opportunity to reveal everything. The story of the meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel was not true," she said in tears.

Today, Norhaili maintained her testimony in court earlier that Bung Moktar had never solicited a bribe of RM3.5 million, which contradicted a recorded statement of hers to the MACC that the money was solicited by Bung Moktar in a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel on May 4, 2015.

The proceedings will continue on March 28.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar, 64, 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 Public Mutual unit trusts.

Bung Moktar, who was the non-executive chairman of Felcra at the time, was accused of accepting bribes from Public Mutual Berhad's investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at Public Bank's Taman Melawati branch here between 12.30 pm and 5 pm on June 12, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty to accepting an RM335,500 cash bribe from Norhaili under the name of Zizie Izette for similar reasons, at the same place on June 19, 2015, while Zizie Izette, 44, pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband in the matter at the same place, date and time. -BERNAMA