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Ahmad Sarbaini was depressed when at MACC office on April 6, Coroner's Court told

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) -- An officer with the Federal Territory Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told the Coroner's Court here today that Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed looked depressed when he saw him at the office last April 6.

Assistant Superintendent Sheikh Niza Khairy Sheikh Mohamad, 51, who is the 17th witness in the inquest into the death of the Selangor Customs assistant director, said it happened after Ahmad Sarbaini contacted Wan Zainalabidin (rpt Zainalabidin) Wan Zaki, an agent from Schenker Logistik Sdn Bhd, using his handphone.

He said that after making the call, Ahmad Sarbaini placed the handphone on a table and then rubbed his head.

"I saw he was very tense and stressed. He kept quiet and did not say anything to me," he said when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Abazafree Mohd Abbas.

Prior to that, Sheikh Niza said, MACC investigating officer Abdul Ghani Ali had asked Ahmad Sarbaini whether he had Schenker's address and the contact number of Wan Zainalabidin, who was referred to as Zainal.

He said Abdul Ghani then asked Ahmad Sarbaini to contact Wan Zainalabidin.

Sheikh Niza said Ahmad Sarbaini looked like he was forced to make the call to Wan Zainalabidin, adding that he could not hear clearly the telephone conversation, but did hear Wan Zainalabidin said "Datang ya" (Do come).

He also said that on April 6, Ahmad Sarbaini went to the office voluntarily to amend his statement which was recorded on April 4 and when asked the reason, Ahmad Sarbaini said he was depressed.

"When he was in my room on the third floor of the building, I saw him holding a handphone and kept looking at it.

"When I took the phone, I saw the word Schenker on the phone screen. Seeing the word Schenker, I then remembered Zainal, and this proved that they had a relation. So I told Ahmad Sarbaini that I was going to seal the handphone," he added.

Ahmad Sarbani, who was attached to the Port Klang Customs office, was found dead at the badminton court on the first floor of the Federal Territory MACC building at Jalan Cochrane here on April 6 this year.

He was reported to have gone to the office voluntarily to meet with a MACC investigating officer concerning a probe into a corruption case, involving 62 Customs officers.

Questioned by lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented the MACC, what made Ahmad Sarbaini to confess to his wrong doings in the statement which was recorded on April 4, Sheikh Niza said he told Ahmad Sarbaini to tell his experience in the Customs.

He said Ahmad Sarbaini confessed to having received money of between RM30 and RM200 a month from one Ah Seng, who is from TopMark Shipping, and between RM50 and RM100 a month from Zainal (Wan Zainalabidin) of Schenker Logistik Sdn Bhd.

"He told me that the payment was made at a coffee shop outside the Customs office. I was shocked and did not expect for him to make such a confession," he added.

Meanwhile, questioned by Mohamad Abazafree how he felt after knowing about Ahmad Sarbaini's death, Sheikh Niza said he cried and was sad because he knew the person.

Ahmad Sarbaini was very close with me and gave his cooperation throughout the investigation, he added.

Meanwhile, MACC Investigating Officer Abdul Ghani Ali testified that during his 30 years with MACC, it was the first time he had heard of anyone admitting to accepting bribe.

Abdul Ghani, 57, the 18th prosecution witness, said that Sheikh Niza recorded Ahmad Sarbaini's statement on April 4, Ahmad Sarbaini admitted to accepting money from two agents, TopMark and Schenker.

"I was surprised because during the recording on April 2, the deceased said he did not accept bribe money from TopMark and also said he did not know "Ah Chui" from the company and only knew "Firdaus", but after checks were made, there was no such name in the company.

"What surprised me most was when the name Schenker, which was not in the list of forwarding agents investigated by MACC, cropped up," he added.

Questioned by Mohamad Abazafree on Ahmad Sarbaini wanting to change his statement, Abdul Ghani said: "Based on my experience, if anyone wants to change the statement, we will ask him to write a letter or make a representation to the prosecution division or the chief commissioner for consideration".

Abdul Ghani said that after discussing with MACC Assistant Commissioner Mohamad Fauzi Husin, they agreed not to allow Ahmad Sarbaini to change the statement, but requested that he wrote a letter.

"I told him 'Encik Mat (referring to Ahmad Sarbaini), I receive instruction from my superior that Encik Mat cannot change the plea, but can write a letter to MACC or to me, and at that time, I saw him nodding his head," he said.

After that, Abdul Ghani said he asked Ahmad Sarbaini to wait for a while and not to leave home yet to avoid him bumping into Wan Zainalabidin, who was then on the way to the MACC office.

He also said that he overheard Assistant Superintendent Henrita Serai d/o Andrew Lenggie told Assistant Superintendent Kamal Awang Besar that Ahmad Sarbaini was already downstairs when Henrita left the pantry on the third floor of the building.

"I went into the pantry and when I looked out the window, which was near the sink, saw the deceased sprawled face-down and I saw blood near him," he added.

The hearing before Coroner Aizatul Akmal Maharani continues tomorrow.


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