KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in the trial of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 47 criminal charges, will prove that the former deputy prime minister misappropriated RM31mil of Yayasan Akalbudi funds without a single sen of the monies used to aid the poor.
In an opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the prosecution would also establish that the accused had received a bribe of RM17mil and a further RM4.25mil as gratification, and had also received proceeds from the unlawful activity of RM65mil.
Raja Rozela said the RM31mil monies were entrusted to Ahmad Zahid in his capacity as a member of the foundation’s board of trustees.She said the prosecution would open its case with the criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges to prove that the accused had misappropriated approximately RM31mil worth of funds that belonged to Yayasan Akalbudi, a duly incorporated charitable organisation set up to help the poor and needy.
“The money trail to be presented in court will reveal that not a single sen of the RM31mil was used for the benefit of the poor.
“Instead, the money trail will show that a substantial amount had been used, among others, to pay for personal credit card bills and to make purchases for motor vehicle insurance policies and road taxes for private-owned vehicles, ” she said on the first day of Ahmad Zahid’s trial before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah yesterday.
Raja Rozela told the court that at least 20 witnesses would be called to prove the CBT charges supported by documentary evidence and that the prosecution would also be relying on the presumption under Section 409B of the Penal Code.
For corruption charges, she said between 2016 and 2018, the accused was an officer of a public body holding the post of a minister in the Home Ministry.
“During his tenure, the accused allegedly received RM17mil as a reward for the award of three distinct contracts to several companies. These contracts were entered into the Home Ministry at the material date. The prosecution will lead evidence that the accused were instrumental in the award of the three contracts.
“On or about the same time, the accused was cashing in on his position as a minister when he allegedly received a further RM4.25mil from a person, ” she said.
The DPP said the payments were corruptly received as an inducement for the accused to help secure MyEG projects under the purview of the ministry.
For these charges, the prosecution would call around 15 witnesses and rely on the statutory presumption under Section 50(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, she said.
She further said the money-laundering charges would be proven
by showing that the accused had received approximately RM65mil worth of cheques from individuals known and unknown to him.
“The evidence that follows will show that these cheques were delivered or caused to be delivered to a lawyer, a Mr Muralidharan of Messrs Lewis & Co, who in turn would deposit the cheques into the firm’s Clients Account.
“A substantial portion of the monies was subsequently used to make placements for fixed deposit under the firm’s name. Two bungalow units worth RM5.9mil were also purchased with the monies received, ” she added.
Raja Rozela said witness testimonies and documentary evidence would be adduced to prove that the accused knew or had reason to believe that the millions of ringgit he had received were proceeds from the unlawful activity.
Four witnesses testified yesterday.
Raja Rozela is assisted by DPPs Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi, Gan Peng Kun, Lee Keng Fatt, Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong, Nur Aishah Maulat Ahmad Zakiuddin and Mohd Afif Ali, while lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik led the defence team.
The other lawyers in the team are Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Hamidi Md Noh, Datuk Rosal Azimin and Haziq Dhiyauddin Razali.
On Oct 19 and Dec 14,2018, as well as Feb 20 this year, Ahmad Zahid pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to 47 charges, 12 of which are for CBT, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering. — Bernama