Thursday, April 22, 2021

No proof that 27 cheques worth RM26.05 million were donations, witness says in Zahid case

MACC's Mohd Amirudin Nordin says his investigations found no supporting documents or letters to show that the cheques were donations.

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told yesterday that there were no documents to prove 27 cheques amounting to RM26.05 million received by Tetuan Lewis & Co, a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi owned by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, were donations to the foundation.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Amirudin Nordin, 38, said his investigations found no supporting documents or letters to state that the cheques in the name of Lewis & Co were donations.

Amirudin, the 96th prosecution witness, said the cheques linked to donations were 13 cheques from MYEG Sdn Bhd (RM7.8 million), 10 cheques from Chia Bee Enterprise Sdn Bhd (RM10 million), two from Sarana Kencana Sdn Bhd (RM6 million), one from Mubarak Hussain Akhtar Hussain (RM2 million) and one from Jogabonito Jewellery & Diamonds (RM250,000).

“All cheques were paid to Lewis & Co,” he said when replying to a supplementary question during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffrey Ong on the 50th day of the trial of the former deputy prime minister who is facing charges for corruption, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering involving millions of funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

During re-examination by Harris on why the witness did not agree with the defence’s suggestion that the money was donations, Amirudin said the donations could be channelled directly to Yayasan Akalbudi and that there was no need to go through Lewis & Co.

Questioned by Harris on the suggestion that the money laundering investigation was carried out in a short time, Amirudin said this had not affected the investigation which had been completed.

On Yayasan Al Bukhary, Amirudin said the foundation gave a RM5 million donation to Yayasan Akalbudi in the form of a cheque, and that there was no evidence to show there were donations given in cash money.

Earlier, money changer Omar Ali Abdullah, who is prosecution witness number 81, said in his statement that he received donations in the form of cash from Yayasan Al Bukhary.

Amirudin also said the appointment of Lewis & Co as a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi was made verbally without any letter of appointment.

Meanwhile, MACC investigating officer Mohamad Khairi Ibrahim, 29, told the court that he recorded the conversation of former Yayasan Akalbudi secretary Idris Kechek on the investigation on the foundation.

Khairi said he recorded the conversation of idris twice on June 8, 2018 and July 18, 2018 at the MACC office in Putrajaya.

“I refer to the statement on the investigation in the name of Idris Kechek on pages eight to 24 and confirm that this is a recording of the conversations I recorded,” said Khairi, the 97th prosecution witness, in reading out his witness statement.

Deputy public prosecutor Lee Keng Fatt later told the court that Idris had died in 2018.

Zahid, 68, faces 47 charges – 12 involving criminal breach of trust, eight on corruption and 27 on money laundering, involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

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