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Evidence shows Zahid corruptly received RM21.25 million, prosecution tells court

Deputy public prosecutor says there is enough evidence to show that Zahid corruptly received the money during his time as home minister.

3 minute read
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today. Photo: Bernama

There is sufficient evidence to show that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi corruptly received RM21.25 million from several entities when he was home minister, the High Court heard today.

Submitting the prosecution’s argument before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, deputy public prosecutor Gan Peng Kun said this was disclosed by the prosecution witnesses testifying in eight graft charges against Zahid.

He said according to three charges against Zahid, a total of RM13.25 million was received as an inducement to help Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services secure certain MyEG projects linked to the home ministry.

“For the other five charges, there is sufficient evidence to prove that the accused received bribes amounting to RM8 million from two companies, namely Datasonic Group Berhad (DGB) (RM6 million) and Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd (RM2 million),” he said in a submission to rebut the defence’s argument on eight corruption charges.

Gan submitted that former Datasonic Group Berhad deputy managing director Chew Ben Ben, and Abu Hanifah Noordin, who is former managing director of DGB, had claimed that the RM6 million was meant as a political donation to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 2018 general election.

“If it is true that the RM6 million was intended to be a political donation, then why was it given to the accused, the home minister who was instrumental in awarding the job to supply the passport chip project to Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd (DTSB)?

“The two cheques were made payable to Lewis & Co, a legal firm which has nothing to do with BN. If it is true that the money was meant to be a political donation, the cheques should have been made payable to BN, not Lewis & Co,” he said.

On the corruption charge amounting to RM5 million for the construction of a mosque and tahfiz school in Bagan Datuk, Perak, Gan said the alleged contribution in the form of 24 cheques received by the accused was actually an inducement for the accused to help Mastoro Kenny and Junaith Asharab Md Shariff get MyEG projects under the home ministry.

He said Zahid had wanted to build a mosque and tahfiz school and requested prosecution star witnesses Junaith Asharab to contribute to the cost of construction.

Gan argued that three elements need to be proven under Section 16(1)(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act such as the accused being an officer of a public body and corruptly receiving gratification for himself.

“Besides that, the said gratification was received as an inducement or a reward to do anything in respect of a matter or transaction, actual or proposed or likely to take place, in which the public body is concerned.

“This is not a normal case. It does not involve ordinary folk who frequent ‘mamak’ joints and have a sip of teh tarik or enjoy a plate of nasi lemak. This case involves the former home minister who is also a former deputy prime minister, the second most powerful man in the country.

“Therefore, the evidence adduced has to be appreciated beyond the surface, not just plain and simple understanding as pointed out by the defence in their written submissions,” Gan said.

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.

The prosecution will continue its submission tomorrow.