“I was willing to bribe anyone, including the prime minister, to stop any investigation against Lim,” says Zarul.
KUALA LUMPUR – August 8: The owner of a company awarded the RM6.34 billion Penang undersea tunnel project today said he gave RM19 million to a businessman after being told he faced charges under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli said he paid the money to a middleman known as Gnanaraja, who purportedly could put a stop to a probe on the controversial project.
The Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director said this when testifying in Lim Guan Eng‘s corruption trial.
Zarul previously testified that he gave RM22 million to Gnanaraja to be given to Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stop MACC from investigating the project.
The 62-year-old entrepreneur said he was willing to bribe anyone, including the prime minister, to stop any investigation against Lim.
However, Lim’s lead counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, today argued that Zarul only made the payment to Gnanaraja after he was threatened that he would be charged with money laundering by the latter.
Gobind: You are aware of the fact that you received a WhatsApp message from Gnanaraja in which you were threatened with money laundering proceedings right?
Gobind: You remember what was in the WhatsApp message?
Zarul: My full name and MyKad number.
Gobind: He said that you will be charged for money laundering, isn’t it?
Gobind: That is the reason you made the payment of RM19 million.
Zarul: I disagree. There is more to it than that.
Gobind: No. That is the reason. That was the trigger, wasn’t it?
Zarul: That is not the only reason.
Gobind: I put it to you it is the only reason.
Zarul: I disagree.
Gnanaraja, who is also known as Datuk Seri G or DSG, has since been charged with cheating Zarul and also had his title revoked by the Pahang palace in 2019.
The 38-year-old has claimed trial to three counts of cheating Zarul in relation to the tunnel project.
Lim is facing four charges of using his position as the then chief minister to solicit gratification to help Zarul’s company secure the tunnel project.
He is alleged to have sought 10 per cent of the profit to be made by the company from Zarul.
He is also accused of receiving RM3.3 million for himself and causing two plots of land belonging to the state government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the tunnel project.
The trial before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi continues.
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