I Didn T Have Free Hand To Use Foundation S Funds Says Zahid
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he always adhered to Yayasan Akalbudi’s constitution when handling its funds.KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who founded Yayasan Akalbudi, said he always adhered to the foundation’s constitution when handling the charitable body’s funds.
“I followed the memorandum and articles of association of Yayasan Akalbudi when dealing with (its) funds,” he said when re-examined by lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh.
Zahid, the former deputy prime minister and home minister, also said that although he initiated the establishment of the foundation in 1997, nothing was done in furtherance of his personal interest.
“So, it cannot be said I had a free hand to use the funds,” he said when clarifying his defence to criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges framed against him.
Zahid is standing trial on 47 charges of money laundering and CBT involving millions from Yayasan Akalbudi, and accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as the home minister.
Twelve of those charges are for CBT while another eight are for corruption.
For the CBT charges, he is said to have used a total of RM31 million to settle credit card payments, insurance and road tax for his vehicles, and make payments to Persatuan Bolasepak PDRM as well as two companies, Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd and TS Consultancy & Resources.
Zahid’s defence is that his then executive secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly had issued several cheques which he had pre-signed or which carried a stamp of his signature without his knowledge.
He said he had paid RM1.3 million to footballers and officials who were considered “poor” after their salary and allowances were not paid on time.
He said a total of RM10 million was paid to Armada as an investment, which was allowed under the foundation’s constitution.
His defence team said Armada received about RM70,000 in returns from the RM10 million investment.
The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. - FMT
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