Saturday, October 23, 2021

RM5.9 million for purchase of bungalow lots came from donations, Zahid’s lawyer tells court

Hisyam Teh Poh Teik denies that the money came from illegal activities.

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The money used to purchase two bungalow lots in Country Heights, Kajang, Selangor worth RM5.9 million by Yayasan Akalbudi, owned by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, came from two donors and were not proceeds from illegal activities, the High Court heard today.

Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who represented Zahid, said the money came from textile wholesaler Junaith Asharab Md Shariff and jeweller Mubarak Hussain Akhtar Husin, who were the prosecution witnesses.

“The witnesses appeared before his lordship and gave evidence. They said there was no element of corruption. We submit that the prosecution has failed to prove that the RM5.9 million is proceeds from illegal activities,” he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution’s case before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Hisyam said Mubarak had also donated for the building of a school in Melaka while Junaith made donations for a mosque and a tahfiz school in Bagan Datuk, Perak.

The lawyer also submitted that the defence had conceded that the instruction for the purchase of the bungalow lots came from the accused and that the two lots were transferred to Yayasan Al-Falah.

“It is the defence’s case that the lots were a donation to Yayasan Al-Falah as both foundations share similar objectives,” he said.

The two bungalows were turned into a religious centre for Yayasan Al-Falah, which belongs to Zahid’s family and is run by his younger brother, Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi.

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

As for the 26th money laundering charge, Zahid is accused of having committed the offence by allegedly being engaged directly in a transaction involving proceeds from a lawful activity by giving instruction for the purchase of the two property lots using a RM5.9 million cheque issued by law firm Messrs Lewis & Co.

The defence will continue its submission tomorrow.

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