Thursday, May 19, 2022

Zahid didn’t benefit from RM250,000 bank loan taken by his brother, lawyer tells court

Hisyam Teh Poh Teik says the money was paid to law firm Messrs Lewis & Co.

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The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was told that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not benefit from the RM250,000 loan his younger brother Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi took from a textile wholesaler.

Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who represented Zahid, said this was because Nasaee had paid the said amount to a law firm, Messrs Lewis & Co.

The lawyer said textile wholesaler Junaith Asharab, who is also the 36th prosecution witness, had testified that Nasaee personally wrote down, law firm Messrs Lewis & Co as the payee.

“According to Junaith, the cheque then cleared into Lewis & Co client’s account on July 15, 2016,” he said, adding that Nasaee was never called by the prosecution to explain why the sum was made payable to the firm.

“There is not an iota of evidence that the accused was aware of this and a party of the loan transaction. The accused did not receive the alleged gratification and there is absolutely no basis to say it was an inducement,” he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution’s case before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Hisyam said during cross-examination, Junaith had also reiterated that the loan had nothing to do with the accused.

Therefore, he said the corruption charge against his client was completely baseless and groundless.

Earlier, Sequerah allowed Zahid’s application to cut short today’s proceedings at 11am as the latter needed to attend Parliament proceedings at 12pm.

The Bagan Datuk MP’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Nor informed the court that his client had received a letter from the secretary of Dewan Rakyat yesterday evening, hence the request for today’s proceedings to be adjourned at 11am.

Sequerah allowed Zahid’s application for shorter proceedings as the prosecution raised no objection over the matter.

Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 of criminal breach of trust, eight of corruption and 27 of 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 directly engaged in a transaction involving proceeds from lawful activity by giving instruction for the purchase of 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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