Ahmad Zahid denies blaming ex-staff member to ‘save his own neck’

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has denied shifting the blame on his former staff member in order to exonerate himself in the corruption trial involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).

During a cross-examination conducted by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, Ahmad Zahid was asked about the cheques issued by YAB and the role his former executive secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly played in the case.

ALSO READ: YAB trial: DPP tells Ahmad Zahid not to treat courtroom like 'coffee shop'

Ahmad Zahid said he had never instructed anybody, including Mazlina, to use cheques from the charity foundation to pay for credit card bills, car insurance and other personal expenses.

He also denied that he was lying about not knowing that Mazlina used the cheques from YAB to pay for his credit cards.

ALSO READ: YAB funds came from contributions, not proceeds from illegal activities, says Zahid

DPP Raja: You never told the investigating officer a single word when your statement was recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that you actually allowed Mazlina to use YAB's stamp on the cheques?

Ahmad Zahid: I disagree.

DPP Raja: You only know to point the finger to your own staff member, Mazlina, to “lepaskan tengkuk sendiri” (save your own neck).

Ahmad Zahid: But that is the truth (that Mazlina misused the cheques).

DPP Raja: Do you agree or not?

Ahmad Zahid: I disagree.

Earlier, the Umno president insisted that YAB's decision to invest RM10mil in Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd was not recorded in the foundation's resolution due to a “mistake by the company secretary”.

He said he had discussed the investment with two other trustees from YAB.

Raja Rozela: If that was indeed true, that the RM10mil was meant for investment, why was there no black and white agreement between YAB and Armada Holdings?

Ahmad Zahid: There was none, only verbal agreement.

The accused, however, agreed with DPP Raja that RM10mil was not a small sum and that the objective of YAB's establishment was to help the needy and the poor.

DPP Raja: But you made the decision to invest that RM10mil to Armada Holdings, a company that is not under the poor category.

Ahmad Zahid: True, Armada Holdings is not “asnaf” (poor). But the RM10mil was a form of investment that would yield returns on investment (ROI).

Ahmad Zahid is on trial for 47 charges - 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering - involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Monday (July 4).

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