Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Zahid used almost RM1.5 million from charity foundation for personal expenses, witness tells court

MACC investigating officer cites credit card bills, insurance and road tax for 20 vehicles including 18 luxury vehicles belonging to Zahid Hamidi and his wife.

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The last prosecution witness in the trial of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the High Court yesterday that the former deputy prime minister had used RM1,469,547.36 in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi to pay for credit card bills, insurance and road tax for 20 vehicles.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Khairudin Kilau, 44, said based on his investigations, Zahid had settled bills for nine credit cards belonging to him and his wife, Hamidah Khamis, for personal use amounting to RM1,362,037.81, while RM107,509.55 was for insurance and road tax payments for 20 vehicles belonging to them.

He said the credit card payments comprised RM1,296,715.98 to AmBank Islamic, RM34,686.03 to Maybank and RM30,635.80 to American Express.

“The AmBank Islamic and Maybank credit cards had supplementary cards issued in the name of Hamidah Khamis. A review and examination of the statements for all the credit cards found that many expenses were made abroad, and paid using Affin Bank Bhd cheques belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi between 2014 to 2016,” he said, reading from his witness statement during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Lee Keng Fatt.

Khairudin. the 99th prosecution witness, said this on the 51st day of the trial against Zahid, who faces charges of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi.

Khairudin said Zahid also used the foundation’s money to pay for insurance as well as road tax for 20 vehicles, including 18 luxury vehicles, including a BMW X5, Mini Cooper S, Mercedes Benz CLS350, BMW 320i (A), Toyota Land Cruiser and BMW R1200 GS motorcycle.

“The first payment of RM17,335.54 was used for insurance policy and RM7,625.01 for road tax payments involving six vehicles belonging to Zahid and his wife, whereby the payment was made through three Affin Bank Bhd cheques on Jan 22, 2015.

“The second payment, amounting to RM27,246.90, was to pay for insurance policy and RM16,368.10 for road tax payments paid through an Affin Bank Bhd cheque on April 15, 2015, which involved four vehicles belonging to Zahid, one vehicle belonging to BZ Motors Sdn Bhd and a vehicle belonging to Juhari Janan.

“The third payment, a total of RM27,607.11, was used to pay for insurance policy while RM11,276.89 was to pay road tax payments involving eight vehicles belonging to Zahid. The payment was made through an Affin Bank Bhd cheque on Sept 22, 2015,” he said.

Khairudin said based on information obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia and the trustees of Yayasan Akalbudi, the foundation had never held an annual general meeting since its establishment, from 1997 to 2018.

“There are no official meetings and discussions recorded by the secretary of the foundation related to the activities and financial reports of Yayasan Akalbudi.

“The finances and activities were managed by Zahid himself. The trustees also did not know who the contributors were and how much donations were received by Yayasan Akalbudi.

“Other trustees only knew that Yayasan Akalbudi was carrying out welfare matters, especially for residents in the Bagan Datuk area, which involved donations to mosques and tahfiz centres,” he said.

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah will continue on March 18, when the witness will continue his testimony.

Khairudin is the 10th MACC investigating officer called by the prosecution to testify in the case.

Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

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