Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that he thought well of Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly and had trusted her to manage his personal accounts as well as the account of his charity outfit Yayasan Akalbudi.
Zahid, 69, said his former executive secretary was also entrusted with managing the payment of his water and electricity bills and that at all times, he would seek Mazlina's help in managing various personal financial matters, including the payment of his credit cards bills.
"Usually, I would ask Mazlina for the debit or credit amount for my credit cards before the payments were made.
"I didn't have the time to contact the bank myself to ask about my credit card statements because I was too busy with my duties of helping manage the country. So I trusted Mazlina to manage all that," he said in his defence proceedings for 47 charges of breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.
When asked by deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran if he paid serious attention to his credit card payments, Zahid replied: "Yes, true."
Raja Rozela: And if this is true, did Datuk Seri ask Mazlina to show the credit card statements before payment was made?
Zahid: Each time I asked, she (Mazlina) would say she had the statements, but they were never shown to me.
Raja Rozela: Didn’t Datuk Seri want to know how much Datuk Seri owed the bank?
Zahid: All payments and purchases have receipts so I knew the amount. My instruction was that the payments had to come from my personal account.
In the previous proceeding, Zahid denied that he had pointed the finger at Mazlina over the settlement of his personal credit card bills using foundation cheques in order to absolve himself.
Earlier, Zahid confirmed that he used six credit cards to make payments for his personal expenses during official visits abroad between 2013 and 2016, including to the UK, Australia, South Korea, the US and Italy, as well as for several purchases in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Asked by Raja Rozela if he was abroad every month between 2013 and 2016, Zahid replied: "Yes." He said at the time, he had held the positions of home minister (2013-2018) and deputy prime minister (2015-2018).
"Almost every month I would be abroad for official business," he said.
The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues today.