Prosecutors aim to show Zahid knew of RM117m in dodgy deals

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 18, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 18, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Prosecutors in Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s trial will set out to prove that transactions for RM117.25 million of unlawful proceeds were executed with his personal knowledge, the High Court was told today. 

Lead prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, in her opening statement, detailed how these funds came to be in his possession through various means.

“Witness testimonies and documentary evidence will be adduced to show proof that the accused knows or has reason to believe that the millions of ringgit he had received were proceeds from unlawful activities. 

“In proving each charge, the prosecution will be relying on direct, circumstantial and documentary evidence,” said Raja Rozela. 

She told the High Court the prosecution will first set out to prove that RM31 million was misappropriated from the Yayasan Akalbudi charity foundation by Zahid in his capacity as a member of its board of trustees. 

She said evidence adduced will prove that “not a single cent” from the amount was used for the benefit of the poor, and was instead spent for personal reasons such as settling credit card bills and the purchase of motor-vehicle insurances and road taxes. 

The deputy public prosecutor said they will then set out to prove how Zahid received RM21.25 million as gratification to award three contracts to several companies while holding the position of home minister. 

“The prosecution will lead evidence that the accused was instrumental in the award of the three contracts,” she read in court. 

She added that the payments were corruptly received as inducement for Zahid to help secure MyEG projects which were under the purview of his position then as the home minister. 

On the charges of money laundering, Raja Rozela said evidence will prove that approximately RM65 million was received by Zahid through a lawyer identified as Mr Muralidharan from the Messrs Lewis & Co law firm. 

These funds were later deposited into an account meant for clients of the firm, from which a substantial amount was used to make placements for fixed deposits under the company’s name. 

“Two bungalow units worth RM5.9 million were also purchased with the monies received,” she said.  

The trial will continue with its first witness set to testify in the afternoon before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah with Zahid represented by lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

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