Six witnesses testify in judiciary couple’s case

Fadley Faisal

Prosecutors called six witnesses in the trial against Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin in the High Court yesterday.

The witnesses were bank tellers who had processed cash withdrawal transactions made from the Official Receiver’s (OR) accounts under Ramzidah’s name.

Each of the tellers elaborated on the process for withdrawing cash transactions over the counter at Bank A.

In giving evidence, all witnesses gave accounts of the process of multiple cash withdrawals made by Ramzidah from large numbers of OR accounts. The court was shown cash withdrawal slips bearing Ramzidah’s signatures and copies of Ramzidah’s identification card at the back of the bank documents.

In a cross examination, Simon Farrell QC suggested to three of the prosecution witnesses that, two other Bank A’s staff collected the cash withdrawn from the OR’s accounts which they processed and the monies were then handed over to Ramzidah who was waiting outside in her car. A prosecution witness did not agree with Farrell and confirmed that he handed over the cash to Ramzidah in person.

The other two tellers agreed that the cash was collected by a Bank A staff but did not see the cash being handed over to Ramzidah.

The defence team informed the Court that they do not object to the contents of another six sets of statements from the witnesses.

Jonathan Caplan QC read out the statements in Court which relayed the transactions processed for the cash withdrawals made by Ramzidah.

All the statements confirmed that the tellers processed cash withdrawals from large numbers of OR’s accounts.

The withdrawals were made by Ramzidah with her signatures on the cash withdrawals corresponded to the authorised signatory in their records.

Though the witnesses stated that the account passbooks and filled-in cash withdrawal slips were given to them in advance either from another bank staff from the Debt Recovery Department, they also confirmed that all the cash withdrawn were handed over to Ramzidah personally which can be demonstrated through the signature she appended in front of them to acknowledge receipt of such cash.

In one instance, Caplan exhibited a Bank A deposit slip showing a cash deposit of BND93,000 into an account belonging to Luxury Car Dealer A. It is the prosecution’s case that the BND10,000 notes used to deposit the account originated from a cash withdrawal made by Ramzidah from OR’s accounts.

The prosecution also presented to the court photocopies of BND10,000 notes made by a Bank A teller. The copies were made as a record to later report to the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD).

These BND10,000 notes were given to Ramzidah as part of the cash withdrawn by her on December 5 2017, the last transaction which she had made from OR’s accounts during her tenure as a Deputy Official Receiver.

The prosecution also presented an excerpt of CCTV recordings from Bank A’s Main Branch showing a time when Ramzidah approached the bank teller counter for a transaction.

A bank teller, who was one of the witnesses called by the prosecution yesterday, was seen counting stacks of cash. The cash was later placed into a white envelope and handed over to Ramzidah which she then kept in her handbag. It was shown that Ramzidah signed on a piece of paper in front of the bank teller. The trial continues today.

Caplan and DPPs Hajah Suhana Haji Sudin, Hajah Suriana binti Haji Radin, Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff and Muhammad Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman represented the Public Prosecutor in the case, while Farrell and Sheikh Noordin bin Sheikh Mohammad represented the defendants.