KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor became infuriated at the High Court today when his attempt not to have his assets’ worth revealed publicly, was unsuccessful.
The former federal territories minister was testifying on the second day of his defence to a charge of accepting RM2 million from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong.
“When I said I did not want to declare my assets publicly, you know the reason.
“Now I have a problem. After I mentioned nearly a billion ringgit (worth of assets), they will sensationalise it. That’s why I feel deprived,” he added.
His counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan interjected and asked for a stand-down to avoid the situation from getting worse.
Earlier, the High Court rejected Tengku Adnan’s application to have part of the proceedings relating to his Declaration of Assets while he was in the cabinet, to be heard in camera.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, in making his decision, ruled that no evidence must be kept secret from the public.
“For the trial to be conducted fairly, it must be done transparently.
“This way, the public will be able to appreciate any decision reached by the court and not be kept guessing because certain evidence is being kept secret,” the judge said.
The trial then continued with Tengku Adnan telling the court that he had declared assets worth over “hundreds of millions” since 2001.
Under examination-in-chief by Tan, the Umno treasurer said he made the declarations to three former prime ministers, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He confirmed he had declared to the prime minister in 2001 total assets valued at RM938,643,566.16, and that he had made similar declarations in 2006 of assets worth RM711,325,822, and in 2013 at RM691,770,649, and finally RM782,748,061 in 2016.
At the start of the trial, Tan had sought additional questions on his client’s Declaration of Assets to be tendered in-camera as it was a “sensitive” document, but that would help in the defence case.
He said Tengku Adnan did not want the declaration to be made known to the public as he did not want to expose his family members.
“The declaration is basically a compilation of confidential details of the names of family members and assets, and it will only be disclosed to the prime minister.
“It is clear that it (document) is only for the eyes of the prime minister. Although it is not secret, the nature of the document is confidential,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim argued that the issue of sensitivity was insufficient to exclude the publicity of the documents in this case.
She said the documents were neither categorised as secret nor privileged under the law.
Julia had also submitted that the defence had failed to show how hostility could happen to the accused and his family members, if the declarations were tendered in public since many had already knew about the documents.
Tengku Adnan, 69, is facing a charge of accepting RM2 million from Chai via a cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas which was deposited into a bank account belonging to Tadmansori Holdings, a company owned by him.
He faces up to two years' jail or fine or both, if found guilty under Section 165 of the Penal Code.