(NST) - The trial of two men who were charged with the theft of two jet engines belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force took a twist yesterday when a prosecution witness admitted that he was the one who stole the engines and took it out of the Sungai Besi base camp.
Senior airmen Corporal Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop, who was at the Air Movement Section startled those present in court when he admitted to taking the two F5 engines out of the camp in an RMAF lorry.
He also admitted to being in full uniform with the intention to hoodwink the guards at the camp.
Shukri said he had discussions with accused Sergeant N. Tharmendran (pic) on how to take the engines out of the camp and to sell them because they were “scrap metal”.
For taking the engines out, he received RM90,000 from Tharmendran, of which he paid RM30,000 to the lorry driver whom he identified only as Sergeant Fauzi.
Shukri said he used the RM60,000 to pay for his education, to settle his car loan and go for a honeymoon.
“I used RM12,000 for my education, RM8,000 for my car and the rest to pay for my honeymoon in Tioman,” he said, much to the amusement of defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo.
Gobind: How much did you pay for your honeymoon?
Shukri: About RM5,000. I also used RM10,000 for an investment and the balance I went on a spending spree.
Gobind: Did you return the money to the police during investigations?
Shukri: No. They never asked for the money.
He also said that there was nothing wrong in selling the engines which he claimed could no longer be used.
Gobind: So you stole the engines, you were never charged in court, and you are here today to testify against both the accused.
Gobind: This is scandalous.
In the dock are Tharmendran, 44, who was charged with conspiring with Shukri at the Subang RMAF Air Movement Section to steal two jet engines from the Kuala Lumpur RMAF Material Processing Shed, MATRA 1 in Sungai Besi on December 2007.
Although Shukri was named in the charge sheet, he was, however, never charged for the offence.
The other accused is businessman, K. Rajandran Prasad, 39, who was charged with intentionally disposing the two jet engines in April 2008.
Shukri also admitted that this was not the first time he stole from the Sungai Besi RMAF camp.
“Besides these jet engines, I have stolen other things before,” he said, adding that he had done it about four to five times.
“I cannot remember the items but they were like transmissions and spare parts for planes.”
He said there had been about 30 other officers who were sacked before for stealing but he was not one of them,
Gobind: Do you agree that you should be sacked too?
Gobind: Why were you retained and protected?
Shukri: For this case involving Tharmendran.
Shukri said a Colonel Ismail told him that he was not charged in court because he was needed to testify against Tharmendran.
On Tuesday, Shukri had testified that he had a deal with Tharmendran to sell the two engines as scrap.
Shukri then arranged for the engines be taken out of the camp to a factory at the Sunway Industrial area.
Yesterday, during re-examination by DPP Syed Feisal Syed Amir, the witness said he did not know the name of the parts as usually Tharmendran would tell him the part numbers to be taken.
He said that it was Tharmendran who initiated the discussion on the theft of the two jet engines.
Hearing before Sessions judge Aslam Zainuddin resumes on Oct 18.