KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) had used his personal credit cards first to purchase donation items for a mosque, as part of Yayasan Akalbudi’s (YAB) charitable activities, the High Court here heard.
Datuk Rosiah Osman, 71, who was Ahmad Zahid's executive secretary at the time, said the purchases were then reimbursed from YAB funds.
Rosiah said Ahmad Zahid's credit cards were used to purchase carpets, fans and air conditioners as donations to the mosque because the foundation did not have a credit card.
"We receive the credit card statements every month. I will scrutinise it to separate Datuk Seri (Ahmad Zahid)'s personal expenses from those related to Yayasan Akalbudi.
"I make the credit card payments using designated cheques, with Maybank cheques for Datuk Seri's personal expenses, while those related to Akalbudi Foundation are the foundation's Affin Bank cheques,” she said.
Rosiah was testifying during examination-in-chief by Hamidi Mohd Noh, who is representing Ahmad Zahid, 70, at the defence hearing for the 47 charges he is facing, namely for criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.
The seventh defence witness said upon her retirement on Dec 7, 2011, she handed over the cabinet keys, Ahmad Zahid's used and unused personal cheque books as well as those belonging to the foundation to Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, who took over her duties.
"I instructed Major Mazlina to use Datuk Seri's personal cheques to pay his credit card expenses and YAB's cheques to settle YAB-related expenses.
"I also instructed Major Mazlina to use Datuk Seri's signature stamp for festive cards, invitation letters, certificates and letters of appreciation,” said Rosiah, who started working as Ahmad Zahid's personal secretary in 1994.
Rosiah agreed with the lawyer's suggestion that throughout her service, Ahmad Zahid had never instructed her to use the signature stamp for cheques.
Earlier, Ahmad Zahid’s special officer Datuk Mohd Kamal Abdullah, during cross-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, said he found Mazlina was often careless in managing the cheques in 2013.
The sixth defence witness said that Mazlina's careless mistakes included issuing cheques with the wrong amounts as well as incomplete cheques, which involved YAB's expenses too.
"As far as I know, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid is a conscientious person but he will not fire his staff. He will only reprimand. Mazlina was reprimanded many times, but she still did not change,” he said.
The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow (Aug 2). - Bernama