KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has denied shifting the blame to his former staff member to exonerate himself in the corruption trial involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) at the High Court here.
During cross-examination conducted by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, the accused was asked about the cheques issued by YAB and of the role his former executive secretary Mejar Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly played in the case.
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 lying about not knowing that Mazlina had used the cheques from YAB to pay for his credit cards.
DPP Raja Rozela: 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 Rozela: You only know to point the finger at your own staff member, Mazlina, to “lepaskan tengkuk sendiri” (save your own neck).
Ahmad Zahid: But that is the truth (that Mazlina had misused the cheques).
DPP Raja Rozela: Do you agree or not?
Ahmad Zahid: I disagree.
Earlier, the Umno president, who is also Bagan Datuk MP, 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.
DPP 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 Rozela 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 Rozela: But you made the decision to invest that RM10mil in 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 a return on investment.
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 YAB.
The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Monday.