Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday denied in the High Court that he had pointed the finger at his former executive secretary Maj Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly over the settlement of his personal credit card bills using Yayasan Akalbudi cheques in order to absolve himself.
Zahid, 69, also denied that his testimony in court that he did not know Mazlina had made credit card payments using the foundation’s cheques was a lie.
He said this when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran during his defence proceedings for 47 charges: 12 of criminal breach of trust, eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.
Raja Rozela: I suggest that Datuk Seri did not say a single word (to deny this) to the recording officer of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when the statement was recorded because you yourself had allowed Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly to use the Yayasan Akalbudi cheques to pay for the credit card.
Zahid: I do not agree.
Zahid also disagreed with Raja Rozela’s suggestion that he had had the opportunity to provide an explanation to the MACC and deny his involvement in the payments for his personal credit card.
Raja Rozela: Nevermind, I suggest that whether the original cheque or image was shown to you, it did not prevent you from giving an explanation to MACC.
Zahid: I was under duress (at the time) because the statement was taken until 10pm.
The Bagan Datuk MP also disagreed with the prosecution that his testimony in court was false because it was not the same as the statement recorded with MACC.
Raja Rozela: This is your statement (to the MACC), so are you saying that the statement made (previously) was not true?
Zahid: Your Honour, when you are under duress and the statement is prepared, what choice do you have?
During the morning proceedings, Zahid asserted that Yayasan Akalbudi’s decision to invest RM10 million in Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd was not recorded in the foundation’s resolution due to a mistake by the company secretary.
Zahid said before the resolution on the investment was prepared, he had held discussions about it with two of the foundation’s trustees.
Raja Rozela: If it is true to say that the RM10 million was an investment, why was there no black and white agreement between Yayasan Akalbudi and Armada Holdings?
Zahid: No (there wasn’t), it was just verbal agreement.
He agreed with Raja Rozela that RM10 million was not a small amount and that the original purpose of the establishment of Yayasan Akalbudi was to help “asnaf” (zakat recipients) and the poor.
Raja Rozela: But Datuk Seri decided to invest RM10 million in Armada Holdings, which does not belong to the poor.
Zahid: True, Armada Holdings is not an asnaf. But it (RM10 million given to Armada Holdings) was a form of investment that would get a return on investment.
The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on July 4.