Zahid tried to cover up misuse of foundation funds, prosecution submits


Hailey Chung Wee Kye

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi attempted to cover up the offence of misusing funds from his charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi after the anti-graft agency started investigations, submits the prosecution in the corruption trial today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, October 18, 2021.

AHMAD Zahid Hamidi knew he was misusing funds from his charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi since 2014 and attempted to cover up the offence, the prosecution in the Umno president’s corruption trial said today.
 
Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran said it was evident when Zahid stopped using Akalbudi cheques to pay his credit card bills after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) started investigations.
 
She said that based on the testimony of Zahid’s former executive secretary Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, the accused had instructed her to pay the bills in cash upon knowledge that MACC had begun making enquiries in 2016.
 
“The prosecution submits that the assertion that the accused had no knowledge is patently untrue,” Raja Rozela said at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
 
“At all material times, the accused had actual knowledge of the status and the transactions involved in relation to Akalbudi’s funds.”
 
She added that MACC investigating officer Khairuddin Kilau, as the 99th prosecution witness, also confirmed in court the testimony of Mazlina, the 90th prosecution witness, on the matter.
 
In addition, she raised the statutory declaration (SD) of an Akalbudi trustee, Khairuddin Tarmizi, to submit that Zahid had tried to cover his tracks.
 
Khairuddin, Umno’s Hutan Melintang assemblyperson and the 15th prosecution witness, said that he was requested to sign the SD prepared by lawyer Muralidharan Balan Pillai from Lewis & Co dated April 20, 2017.
 
Hutan Melintang is a state seat within the Bagan Datuk parliamentary constituency held by Zahid.
 
The assemblyman admitted in court to signing a false SD that Zahid had repaid Yayasan Akalbudi after using its funds to settle the latter’s credit card bills.
 
“The SD clearly points to the guilty mind of the accused,” Raja Rozela said.
 
“Attached to the SD was a schedule which showed a list of 20 Affin Bank cheques that had been issued towards the payment of four AmBank credit cards.
 
“The said list was given to Muralidharan by the accused.
 
“These are the same Akalbudi cheques and credit cards that form the subject matter of the criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges.”
 
Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 27 for money laundering, 12 for criminal breach of trust and eight for corruption – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
 
Of the 12 CBT charges, six of them were in relation to payments of credit cards involving 44 cheques.
 
The trial resumes on Wednesday, with the defence replying to the prosecution’s submission, before high court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah. – October 18, 2021.
 


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