KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A partner of Messrs Lewis & Co told the High Court here on Tuesday (Aug 11) that the legal firm was a not a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi, which is owned by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).
V. Premshangar, 50, also said the firm had never handled files or ledgers relating to the foundation.
He said this when cross-examined by lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Zahid, on the 32nd day trial of the Bagan Datuk MP, who is facing criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
"We have never opened a file for Yayasan Akalbudi and we were never a trustee for Yayasan Akalbudi,” he added.
To a question whether he agreed that a discussion between his partner, B. Muralidharan and Zahid, at the former deputy prime minister’s residence in Country Heights, Kajang, in April 2016 on a fixed saving account, was for the foundation, Premshangar said he disagreed.
Premshangar has been with Lewis & Co since 1995 and became a partner in 1998.
Last July 30, an accountant at Lewis & Co, V. Sothilechmy, who is the 85th witness, told the court that the legal firm opened a file under the name of Yayasan Al-Falah in May 2016 for welfare purposes.
Prior to this, 66th prosecution witness, lawyer and a trustee of Yayasan Al-Falah, Faisalludin Mohamat Yusuff, 43, told the court that the foundation belonged to the Hamidi family, while Yayasan Akalbudi was for Zahid.
Meanwhile, when reading out his witness statement, Premshangar said he had no knowledge as to how Lewis & Co could be involved in managing money from Zahid as the matter was handled solely by Muralidharan.
He also said that he did not receive any instructions directly from Zahid to do so.
Zahid, 67, is facing 27 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi and eight counts of corruption.
The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues Wednesday (Aug 12).- Bernama
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