Monday, January 24, 2022

Jan 24 decision on Zahid’s corruption case

He will either be acquitted or ordered to enter his defence on 47 charges involving funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

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A decision on whether Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be acquitted or ordered to enter his defence on 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds will be made on Jan 24.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah set the date after hearing submissions from the prosecution and defence at the end of the prosecution’s case.

The judge also expressed his gratitude to the prosecution and defence for their oral submissions.

“Thank you for your submissions. My decision will be on Jan 24,” he said after hearing the submissions which ran for 24 days beginning Sept 6.

The prosecution team was led by senior deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran while the defence’s comprised lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Hamidi Mohd Noh.

Meanwhile, Sequerah fixed 18 days from March 28 to June 30 for the hearing should the court order Zahid to enter his defence.

“Because the new year is coming and dates will be taken up, out of an abundance of caution, can we just block dates assuming the defence is called. Can we just block dates,” the judge said.

The court set March 28 to 30, April 11 to 13, April 26 to 28, May 23 to 26 and June 27 to 30.

On March 19, the prosecution closed its case after calling 99 witnesses including Zahid’s former special officer Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, legal firm Lewis & Co partner B Muralidharan, money changer Omar Ali Abdullah and Zahid’s former executive secretary Mejar Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly. The trial began on Nov 18, 2019.

Zahid, 68, pleaded not guilty to 12 CBT charges, eight counts of bribery charges and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

For the CBT charges, Zahid was alleged to have used the funds to make six payments for his personal credit cards usage, insurance policy and licence for his personal vehicles, remittances to a law firm and contributions to the Royal Malaysia Police Football Association.

The offences were allegedly committed at Affin Bank in Jalan Bunus off Jalan Masjid India, between Jan 13, 2014 and Dec 23, 2016. The charges, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provide for a jail term of between two and 20 years, with whipping and a fine, upon conviction.

Zahid was also charged with eight counts of bribery, where he was alleged to have accepted bribes from three companies, namely Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, Data Sonic Group Bhd and Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd as an inducement for him, in his capacity as then home minister, to help the companies obtain MyEG projects, supply passport chips and be appointed the operator of the migrant visa one-stop centres in Pakistan and Nepal, respectively.

He was charged with committing the offences, framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, at the Maybank branch at Dataran Maybank in Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, between July 15, 2016, and March 15, 2018.

The Bagan Datuk MP also faces 27 charges of money-laundering where he allegedly engaged in direct transactions involving income from illegal activities between March 29, 2016, and April 11, 2018.

The offences were allegedly committed at Malayan Banking, Dataran Maybank branch, Level 1, Tower A, No. 1 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar and Marhaba Enterprise Sdn Bhd, LG 1.15, Fahrenheit88, 179 Jalan Bukit Bintang, between March 29, 2016 and April 11, 2018.

Zahid also faces 40 charges at the Shah Alam Sessions Court of having accepted bribes from a company over the overseas visa system, which brings the total charges against him to 87.

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