KUALA LUMPUR: Former Penang Prime Minister Lim Guan Eng used an middleman to ship cash to him to keep away from detection, the Courtroom of Periods heard on Friday (June 24).
Consortium Zenith Building Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, a key witness in Lim’s corruption trial within the Penang underwater tunnel mission, mentioned Lim instructed him to make use of an middleman.
Zarul Ahmad, whereas studying his witness assertion, mentioned that this was to stop his involvement within the funds and to keep away from any surveillance by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee (MACC).
Prosecution witness quantity 23 mentioned that businessman G. Gnanaraja, whom he met by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, entered the scene. Gnanaraja was additionally an in depth ally of then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“I steered Gnanaraja as a result of he was ‘untouchable’ (kekebalan) as a result of he knew the prime minister (Najib).
“Lim additionally agreed. Then I contacted Gnanaraja and instructed him that I wished him to be the middleman to make the funds to Lim,” he mentioned.
Zarul Ahmad mentioned that he had a number of conferences with Gnanaraja between Might and August 2017.
He mentioned he was anxious about having and holding an excessive amount of money whereas the MACC was maintaining a tally of him.
“The cash he wished to provide Lim was a part of the ten% lower of mission earnings to be given to Zarul Ahmad’s firm. The mission was estimated at 30 million ringgit.”
Zarul Ahmad mentioned that in mid-August 2017, he contacted Gnanaraja a number of instances as a result of he wished to provide RM2mil to Lim.
He mentioned he made preparations to withdraw the cash on August 17, 2017 and despatched a message to Gnanaraja asking him to fulfill up the subsequent day to cross some ‘chocolate’ to the ‘large boss’.
“Chocolate means cash,” he mentioned, including that he additionally instructed Lim the cash could be prepared for him.
On August 18, Zarul Ahmad mentioned that he met Gnanaraja on the Eastin Resort in Petaling Jaya and left two sports activities baggage containing RM1mil every within the trunk of his automobile.
Then on August 20, Zarul Ahmad launched Gnanaraja to Lim after choosing him up from the Wenworth Resort in Pudu.
As Zarul Ahmad drove in direction of Publika Hartamas, Gnanaraja, who was sitting within the again with Lim, handed him a bag.
Then, on August 28, Zarul Ahmad mentioned that he picked up Lim and went to Gnanaraja’s home at Seksyen 5, Petaling Jaya round 2 am.
When Lim wished to go away round 5 am, Gnanaraja took out one other bag of cash from his boot and gave it to her.
“Lim requested for RM2mil as a result of he hoped the overall election could be quickly.
“If I did not give him the cash, I used to be anxious if it might have an effect on my mission,” he mentioned.
Zarul Ahmad mentioned that he gave RM3.3 million in complete to Lim on the situation that his firm be awarded the undersea tunnel and paired street mission, and Lim would proceed to assist be sure that he might execute the mission and obtain additional fee. shortly when claims had been authorized.
“This was all a part of the promised lower of 10% of mission earnings. If I do not get the mission, I actually will not give this cash,” he added.
Zarul Ahmad famous that he selected to cooperate with MACC as a result of he discovered from MACC that Lim was solely utilizing him.
Talking after the trial, Lim’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, mentioned the protection would begin cross-examination on the subsequent session.
The trial resumes on Monday (June 27) earlier than Choose Azura Alwi.