KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman told the High Court here today that he accompanied Datuk Rizal Mansor, who was then the special officer to the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, to send two black bags “possibly containing money” to Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, in December 2016.

Datuk Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin, 40, said he came to the conclusion that the bags could possibly contain money, as informed by Rizal, but did not know the amount.

“At that time, I also asked Datuk Rizal our purpose of going to Putrajaya and Datuk Rizal said he wanted to give something to ‘maam’.

“I did not ask who the ‘maam” he was referring to as I knew the person referred to was Datin Seri Rosmah, the reason being that Datuk Rizal and I have been close friends since 2014 and during our conversation, he often used ‘maam’ to refer to Datin Seri Rosmah,” he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Farizul Hassan Bakri.

Ahmed Farriq, who is the ninth prosecution witness, was reading out his witness statement on the 11th day trial of Rosmah’s corruption case involving the hybrid solar energy project for rural schools in Sarawak.

He said on arrival at Seri Perdana, they were greeted by two butlers, who then took the two bags from the car boot and brought them into the house.

After that, he said, Rizal told the butlers that he wanted to see “maam” and told him (Ahmed Farriq) to wait in the car.

“About 30 minutes later, Datuk Rizal came out alone without carrying anything. Datuk Rizal then said to me ‘it’s settled’ and got into the car,” he added.

Prior to him and Rizal going to Seri Perdana, Ahmed Farriq said Rizal had invited him for a drink at a cafe at the Pavilion here.

“It was at noon, and it was there that Rizal told him that he was waiting for something, but did not say what it was and that it was for Lawrence,” he said, adding that he knew who Lawrence was as they had met before and that the man worked for Tan Sri Desmond Lim.

Ahmed Farriq said he and Rizal were at the cafe when the latter received a call and then asked him (Ahmed Farriq) to accompany him to an office at Pavilion Tower.

On arrival at the lobby of the premises, Ahmed Farriq said he saw two or three men unknown to him coming out of a car, with two of them carrying two black luggage bags, and then went into the lift.

He said about 20 minutes later, Rizal came down and told him that there was some problems and that he (Rizal) had to send the two bags to Seri Perdana.

“At the same time, an Alphard car, with Arif (Rizal’s driver) at the wheel, arrived in front of the lobby and Rizal and I got in, while two men placed the two black bags in the car boot and then one of them got into the front passenger seat.

“Rizal told me that the man is a policeman known as ‘EVO’,” he said, adding that the man got down from the car outside the gate to the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

Describing Rizal as a secretive person, especially on matters pertaining to his job, Ahmed Farriq, said until today, he could not confirm if the two bags contained money as he had not seen it (money), although Rizal did tell him that the bags contained money.

On the hybrid solar project in Sarawak, Ahmed Farriq said he knew little about it and whatever information had had about it was obtained when he accompanied Rizal on a few occasions to meet Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and Saidi’s business partner, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.

“However, I do not feel comfortable with Rayyan and Saidi and because of that I chose not to know more or talk about the project although Rizal wanted to talk about the project,“ he added.

Rosmah, 68, has claimed trial to a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving a bribe of RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor as gratification for helping the company to secure the RM1.25 billion Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for the 369 rural schools in Sarawak, through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry.

She allegedly committed the offences at three places, namely Lygon Cafe at Sunway Putra Mall in Jalan Putra here; her house at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta here, and at the Seri Perdana Residence, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 7, 2017.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. - Bernama