Zahid knew about misuse of YAB funds, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had actual knowledge of the misuse of Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds since 2014.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the former deputy prime minister turned the blame and pointed the finger at his former executive secretary, Mejar Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, instead.

“In fact the prosecution would go as far as to submit that the accused was determined to make Mejar Mazlina a scapegoat for his own mess.

“It is our contention that the accused must take responsibility for the acts of Mejar Mazlina. It is abundantly clear from the evidence that she was following orders in preparing the cheques,” she was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Raja Rozela said this during her submission at the end of the prosecution’s case against Ahmad Zahid, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering involving YAB funds.

She said the evidence adduced by the prosecution that the issuance of the relevant YAB cheques by Mazlina was carried out with the knowledge and upon the instructions of the accused, while the assertion that Ahmad Zahid had no knowledge showed this to be patently untrue.

She submitted that Mazlina had prepared the cheques upon the accused’s instructions – whether the signed cheques or stamped cheques – to pay for the credit card bills or insurance and road tax.

She said Mazlina was a credible witness and that her actions in fact were consistent with a soldier obeying the commands of her superior.

“We submit that it is easy to appreciate the fact that Mejar Mazlina was forthright in her response to the learned counsel’s questions during cross-examination,” she said.“She readily owned up to her mistakes and made no attempt to embellish or varnish her testimony.

“She was consistent in her evidence regarding the permission and approval the accused had given her on the use of YAB cheques and his (Ahmad Zahid) signature stamp. In short, her evidence remained intact throughout the three stages of examination,” Raja Rozela added.

She further submitted that the evidence from direct, circumstantial and documentary evidence at the trial warranted that the accused enter his defence on all charges.

Raja Rozela said that based on all the arguments and the evidence shown, a prima facie case had clearly been established in respect of all 12 CBT charges against the accused.

“We have proven that the accused had the requisite mens rea to commit the offences through direct evidence and by way of invoking the statutory presumption under Section 409B of the Penal Code.

“The accused had also misappropriated the YAB funds in the current account and seven fixed deposit accounts entrusted to him,” she said.Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 for CBT, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.

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