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Zahid says never used funds from charity outfit for personal interest

He says Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds were used for permitted activities and those that fulfilled its objectives as a charity foundation.

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Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that he never misappropriated Yayasan Akalbudi funds for personal interest, despite being its founder.

He said the foundation's funds were used for activities allowed under the memorandum and articles of association (M&A) or Yayasan Akalbudi’s objectives.

"I cannot use the foundation's funds for personal interest," the former deputy prime minister said during re-examination by his lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh, in his defence against 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.

To a question posed by another of his lawyers, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, on whether he was informed by former deputy managing director of Datasonic Group Bhd Chew Ben Ben about the RM6 million cheque,  Zahid said it was a political contribution.

Zaidi: Why was the contribution from Datasonic, which Datuk Seri (Zahid) received, credited into the account of Messrs Lewis & Co and not used for political activities?

Zahid: My Lord, any political contribution, even for my personal activities as a politician, I placed in the account of Messrs Lewis & Co as the Yayasan Akalbudi trustee to be channelled for activities that are allowed under the M&A to meet Yayasan Akalbudi’s objectives.

During previous proceedings,  Zahid, 69, told the court that the two cheques for RM6 million which he received from Chew when he was deputy prime minister were political contributions and not bribes.

The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.