Zahid used RM17.9million from Yayasan Akalbudi’s fixed deposits to fund his daughter’s hotel offer, High Court said

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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Photo) used RM17.9 million from fixed deposit withdrawals from Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds to finance his daughter’s offer to buy a hotel in Bali, the High Court said here.

Deputy Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the daughter of Umno President Datuk Nurulhidayah was interested “in running the hotel” and that YAB funds had been used for purposes other than those intended.

She was giving her presentation on the point of criminal breach of trust at the end of the prosecution case in Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial involving YAB funds on Thursday, October 14.

The DPP explained the money trail starting with Ahmad Zahid giving specific instructions to Affin Bank to withdraw all funds from seven term deposit accounts via a letter dated June 23, 2016.

The same amount was then remitted to the law firm MM. Lewis & Co via bank checks on June 28, 2016.

Two days later, on June 30, the company acted on Ahmad Zahid’s instruction to issue a check for RM 8.6 million to hotel operator Ri-Yaz Asset Sdn Bhd.

An associate of the law firm had testified that the accused asked him to make the payment in order to buy 60% of the shares of the company from the chairman of Ri-Yaz Asset, Tan Sri Rashid Manaf.

Rashid had testified in court that he met Nurulhidayah to discuss the proposed venture.

He also told the court that he was looking to sell his shares because the company was having difficulty repaying an EXIM Bank loan of $ 24.8 million for the purchase of the hotel in Bali.

The deal, however, did not materialize and the RM8.6mil was subsequently transferred to Lewis & Co and then deposited into term deposits in July 2016 and May 2017.

“Even if we were to accept (that) this (buying a hotel) was a form of YAB investment, the question is, how could this money spent on a hotel in Indonesia help the poor in Malaysia?

“We humbly contend that the accused dishonestly embezzled RM 17.9 million from the funds of the seven term deposits owned by YAB,” she said.

Raja Rozela said the purpose of the YAB funds was specifically for eradicating poverty and improving the well-being of the poor, and to conduct studies and research relevant to the poverty eradication program.

“In other words, the funds from YAB’s accounts were used for the personal enrichment of the accused and for the benefit of one or more persons with whom YAB has no connection or interest,” he said. -she adds.

Ahmad Zahid faces 47 counts – 12 of criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.

The hearing continues before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Monday, October 18.


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