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Zahid says had ‘more than enough’ own money for credit card, blames 'negligent' secretary for using Yayasan Akalbudi funds to pay bills

Malay Mail logo Malay Mail 25/5/2022 Ida Lim
Malay Mail © Provided by Malay Mail Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today told the High Court that he had 'more than enough” in his personal bank account to pay for his credit cards bills, suggesting that his former secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly could have used charity Yayasan Akalbudi’s cheques to make the credit card payments out of carelessness or negligence.

Ahmad Zahid said this while testifying as the first defence witness in his own defence in a trial, where he is accused of having committed a criminal breach of trust in relation to more than RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, including RM1.3 million for his and his wife’s credit card bills.

Asked by his lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh, Ahmad Zahid confirmed that there were sufficient funds in his own bank account that could be used to pay for his personal credit card bills.

Hamidi: Just now we looked at all the credit card payments made by Mazlina using Yayasan Akalbudi cheques. You saw your account balance, on those dates I mentioned, did you have enough money from your personal account to pay those credit cards?

Ahmad Zahid: Yes, from the monthly statements from the bank, the balance every month is more than enough to pay my personal credit cards. More than enough.

Hamidi: If that is the situation, why did Mazlina use Yayasan Akalbudi cheques to pay the credit cards?

Ahmad Zahid: Yang Arif, this may be her negligence by not using cheques from my personal account to pay for all credit cards as stated just now.

When Hamidi suggested that it was actual and not just possible negligence as Mazlina had previously admitted to being negligent, Ahmad Zahid said: 'According to her testimony in court, she admitted to be negligent and did not know and various reasons.”

Earlier, Hamidi had asked Ahmad Zahid to verify and read out figures from the balance of his Maybank account from the years 2014 to early 2016, and to compare them to the amount in Yayasan Akalbudi cheques that were paid out during the same period for his and his wife’s credit card bills.

For all such cheque amounts that he was asked to check against his own bank account’s balance, Ahmad Zahid confirmed that he had enough funds in his account to make the credit card payments.

Earlier this week, Ahmad Zahid claimed that Mazlina had used Yayasan Akalbudi cheques to make payments for his personal credit card bills without his knowledge, agreement or instruction.

In this trial, Ahmad Zahid ― who is a former deputy prime minister and currently the Umno president ― is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.

The trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes this afternoon.

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