2 Businessmen Didn T Discuss Paying Money To Guan Eng Macc Officer Tells Court
A MACC officer tells court about WhatsApp messages between businessman G Gnanaraja and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli.KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) officer told the sessions court in Lim Guan Eng’s Penang undersea tunnel corruption trial that two businessmen linked to the project did not discuss anything in their WhatsApp conversation about making payments to the former chief minister.
Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Yusof, who works in MACC’s forensic department, said that he conducted forensic analysis on businessman G Gnanaraja’s handphone last year, particularly on Gnanaraja’s conversation with Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli between August and September 2017.
“I glanced through the conversation and I did not see them having a motive to ‘get’ (kenakan) Lim Guan Eng or mention about giving money to him.
“There was only a mention of ‘chocolate’. Zarul told Gnanaraja: ‘Superb, sir. I will bring your chocolate’,” he said, reading the WhatsApp message.
Firdaus said he received a request from the case investigating officer to analyse Gnanaraja’s handphone messages.
The witness also said Zarul also texted Gnanaraja, complaining that then prime minister Najib Razak and another critic, former minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, were “whacking” his tunnel project.
The RM6.3 billion project, which was obtained by Consortium Zenith, consisted of an undersea tunnel and three roads. It was mooted by the state government to alleviate the traffic congestion in Penang and its bridge with the mainland.
Firdaus also told the court that Zarul wanted to bring Lim to meet Gnanaraja at Gnanaraja’s house on Aug 28, 2017.
Previously, the court had heard testimony from Gnanaraja’s wife, K Geethanjali, that Lim and Zarul visited her house late at night.
During cross-examination, Lim’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo asked the officer if the WhatsApp contents showed Zarul and Gnanaraja were best friends. Firdaus answered in affirmative.
Firdaus read out a message by Gnanaraja saying, “I love you Dato. You are constantly on my mind. I’ll finish off anyone who disturbs you, Dato”.
“Zarul replied to Gnanaraja and said he was grateful and ‘will make you a star’.”
Gobind: Did you know that Gnanaraja was charged in court for allegedly cheating Zarul?
Firdaus: I am not aware.
Gnanaraja had on April 3, 2019 claimed trial at the Shah Alam sessions court to three charges of cheating Zarul of RM19 million, where it was said that Gnanaraja deceived Zarul into believing that he could help the latter close MACC investigations into him.
Gobind then questioned Firdaus on the pictures that Zarul sent to Gnanaraja at 3.15am on Aug 29, 2017 and asked the witness if he was able to confirm the model of the device used to take these pictures and at what time they were taken.
“I cannot confirm,” Firdaus said.
The hearing continues on Nov 1 to 5 before judge Azura Alwi. Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court that the former minister is scheduled to testify on Nov 5, which was one day after Deepavali.
“He told us he is only available that day,” he added. - FMT
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