Rosmah asked for bigger cut in solar project because of ‘political cost’, witness tells court
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor allegedly used costly political finances as justification for seeking a bigger cut in the controversial solar hybrid project, a witness told the High Court today.
Standing as the 16th prosecution witness today, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah testified that Rosmah asked Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd for a 15 per cent cut for helping the firm secure the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.
Rayyan, who is also the business partner for Jepak Holdings Managing Director Said Abang Samsudin, testified that in January or February of 2016, he and the latter had met with Rosmah at her home in Jalan Langgak Duta, along with her then aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor to discuss the right amount of “contribution” that they have to pay.
Rayyan also stated that prior to entering the house, Rizal had reminded Saidi to start his offer at 10 per cent of the project value to give space for negotiations for the real amount to be given to Rosmah.
‘‘During our meet with Rosmah in one of the living rooms in the house, Rizal Mansor had introduced us to Rosmah. Our discussion with Rosmah only involved Saidi and I, however, Datuk Rizal Mansor also sat in the same living room.
“Among the issues discussed was Rosmah’s support for Jepak’s solar hybrid project and the contribution that Jepak needed to give to Rosmah on the support given. Saidi offered 10 per cent as a contribution to Rosmah.
“Rosmah then answered by stating ‘the current political situation now uses a lot of money’ and ‘we shall see’, said Rayyan.
Rayyan also stated that the meeting only took 10 minutes, and slightly before they exited the house, Rizal told Saidi and him to leave first as he had “a minor discussion” and did not leave the premises with them.
Later on the same day, Rayyan said that he and Saidi met with Rizal at Lygon Bistro at Sunway Putra Mall.
Rayyan said that Rizal had informed the two men that while all the subjects of the discussion earlier were agreeable, the contribution amount that was set at 10 per cent needed to be increased to 15 per cent, equivalent to RM187.5 million.
“Datuk Rizal Mansor said everything was okay, just the percentage of the contribution must be raised to 15 per cent because Rosmah wanted 15 per cent from the RM1.25 billion that is the value of the solar hybrid project. So the amount of the 15 per cent contribution is equivalent to RM187.5 million.
“Saidi, in the meet had stated that the figure was too high and needed to be reduced as he needed to care of others as well. Datuk Rizal said he will check and inform later.
“Datuk Rizal had also asked for RM5 million a year for five years from Saidi. Saidi said “okay” as confirmation with Datuk Rizal Mansor’s request,’’ he said.
Rayyan, however, said the next day, Rizal had called him to say that the contribution of 15 per cent of the whole project, worth RM187.5 million was final and cannot be negotiated and had asked him to inform Saidi of the decision.
Rayyan also testified that the payment of RM187.5 million to be made to Rosmah is deemed a “political contribution” to be paid in five years’ time, which is in tandem with the project’s timetable.
In this trial, Rosmah is facing several charges, including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin on the dates of December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017, in exchange for helping the company get the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.
The trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow.