Lawyer flays Deepak for land scam claim

Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (right) is represented by PKR leader Sivarasa Rasiah.

Chua Sue-Ann,

A senior lawyer flayed controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan today for apparently making up allegations of land fraud by a Wanita Umno leader that is now the subject of a court case.
Deepak was the sole plaintiff witness and shareholder of Astacanggih Sdn Bhd, the private company that is suing Awan Megah (M) Sdn Bhd for rights to three parcels of land measuring 223 acres in Bukit Raja, Klang.
Astacanggih claims that Awan Megah, a vehicle of Senator Datuk Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah, resold part of the land that was initally sold to Astacanggih.
When cross-examined by Awan Megah’s counsel Datuk Saseedharan Menon, Deepak said Awan Megah resold the land to Gunnyunip Sdn Bhd but the deal, which was masked as a joint venture, was “merely a facade of an actual sale where they took money and banking facilities”.
Saseedharan objected to Deepak’s statement as hearsay.
“No documents are given. It is hearsay. This is a creation of his own, a figment of his own mind!” an exasperated Saseedharan told the court.
In describing the turn of events, Deepak claimed that Astacanggih had on May 16, 2007 entered into an agreement with Awan Megah to acquire government land that was awarded to Awan Megah.
Awan Megah was awarded the land and RM28 million cash in exchange for developing a defence education centre called Pusat Pengajian Pertahanan Nasional (Puspahanas) in Putrajaya.
Deepak claimed Astacanggih paid Awan Megah RM13 million and procured a RM72.5 million land bond in favour of the government as the purchase consideration for the three pieces of land.
But the deal fell through when Awan Megah failed to hand over the land rights.
Deepak said he filed a police report and lodged a caveat on the land after he found out this year that Awan Megah had on July 9, 2007 sold one of the three land parcels to Guppyunip for a joint venture.
Deepak also alleged that Astacanggih had to seek special permission from the then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to transfer the land privatised to Awan Megah to a nominee company called Cebur Megah Sdn Bhd.
According to Deepak, he had discussed the matter with Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor whom he claimed later arranged for him to meet Najib.
Deepak further alleged that Najib had consented to the transfer of land to Cebur Megah and instructed the defence ministry deputy secretary-general to arrange the paperwork.
During cross examination, Deepak however admitted that he did not know if the land in question had already been transfered to Awan Megah or Cebur Megah from the government.
Deepak also claimed he was unaware of letters sent by Awan Megah’s solicitors that the land could not be transferred due to objections from the Selangor state authorities on the subdivision of the land.
Earlier during the hearing, High Court Judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof instructed Deepak to refrain from mentioning the political positions held by Raja Ropiaah as the details were not relevant but Deepak pleaded that it was relevant to show “political conspiracy”.
Zabariah also warned Deepak, who was represented by PKR leaders Sivarasa Rasiah and N Surendran, not to use the court process to embarrass certain parties.
“I hope you don’t go overboard. We don’t want to put any inference that is not in the pleadings.
“Once you say things you cannot just erase it, especially now I know the press are here,” Zabariah said referring to the presence of reporters at the hearing.
Aside from Deepak, defence called one witness to the stand, lawyer Nasir Zihni Yusoff, who is Awan Megah’s solicitor.
The court will hear submissions from both parties on Dec 4.
Deepak earlier told that the 223-acre land is now worth about RM400 million with a gross development value of RM11 billion if developed in phases.