KUALA LUMPUR: A witness in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's corruption trial today said his business partner told him that RM5 million cash which they had withdrawn from a bank here was meant for 'RM'.
Razak Othman, however, did not elaborate who RM was although the prosecution is building its case that bribe money of RM5 million and another RM1.5 million was handed to Rosmah in her house in Jalan Langgak Duta here.
The 52-year old, who is the business partner of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin, said at that time he did not ask too many questions about the money.
"Saidi only talked about it one or two months after I accompanied him to withdraw the money. He just told me that the money was for RM.
"At that time I did not know who Saidi was referring to and I did not bother to ask too many questions. I could sense that he was intentionally keeping it a secret from me," he said.
Razak said this when testifying as the eight witness in the trial where Rosmah stands accused of soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings and Saidi to secure a solar hybrid energy project for the company.
She is accused of receiving RM5 million and another RM1.5 million in 2016 and 2017. The project involved supplying solar hybrid energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
The court previously heard that the RM1.25 billion price tag for the project was even more than what the original Penang Bridge cost, which was constructed for under RM800 million in the 1980s.
Witnesses have since testified that the solar hybrid project was signed off by the government under then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak without any value management or feasibility studies being done.
Earlier, Razak described how he ended up becoming Saidi's business partner by joining the latter's company called Syarikat Trace Tag International (Asia) Sdn Bhd in 2016.
He said they eventually grew closer and were regular golfing partners.
However, Razak said he only learnt that Saidi was also active in politics after attending a charity golfing event in Bintulu, Sarawak.
"It was only then Saidi told me that he was also the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak Jepak division deputy chief," he said.
Razak eventually related how he and Saidi had gone to Maybank Jalan Tuanku branch sometime in December 2016.
"We went to the bank together and I saw him talking to an officer there. Later I accompanied him to buy two luggage bags before we went back to the bank and he withdrew the money.
"I was later instructed to count the money and it amounted to RM5 million in RM100 notes. I later put RM2.5 million in each bag before we left the bank," he said.
Razak said they eventually got into Saidi's Range Rover and went to the Pavillion building where they met two men in a meeting room.
"I cannot confirm whether one of them was Rosmah's personal assistant Datuk Rizal Mansor as I don't know him," he said while reading from his witness statement.
Razak said after the meeting they exited the building and transferred the two bags of money into an awaiting vehicle, which he said was either a Toyota Alphard or a Vellfire.
"After we handed the money to the other side we drove back and never talked about what had just happened.
"It was only after one or two months that Saidi told me the money was meant for RM," he said.
Last week, Saidi's driver Shamsul Rizal Sharbini, 42, testified seeing what had happened in Pavillion.
Shamsul, who was the fourth prosecution witness, also revealed going to Rosmah's Jalan Langgak Duta house with Saidi to deliver two more bags containing cash.
He said the bags were later left in the living room, where he also saw Rizal who told them that ma'am was upstairs.
"I understood that 'maam` referred to Rosmah," he had then said.
Hearing before High Court judge Mohamad Zaini Mazlan will continue on Monday.