KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi corruption trial said that a bid by his daughter, Nurulhidayah, to buy a hotel in Bali, Indonesia, five years ago had nothing to do with helping the poor community in this country.
Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran said a sum of RM17.9 million was taken from his Yayasan Akalbudi’s fixed deposit accounts to acquire the hotel’s shares.
The court previously heard that RM8.6 million of the RM17.9 million was paid as deposit to buy shares from Abdul Rashid Abdul Manan, the then director of hotel management firm Ri-Yaz Assets Sdn Bhd.
However, Nurulhidayah’s bid to buy the shares failed and she then demanded the RM8.6 million deposit to be refunded.
“We can see the real purpose was to help the accused’s (Zahid) daughter to purchase this hotel.
“Even for a ‘lovely’ moment, if we were to accept that RM17.9 million was an ‘investment’ in the hotel, how was that supposed to help the poor in the country?” Rozela asked.
Zahid is standing trial on 47 charges of money laundering and CBT involving funds from Yayasan Akalbudi, and accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister.
Twelve of the charges are for CBT, eight for corruption, and the remaining 27 for money laundering.
Rozela told the court that testimony from lawyer Muralidharan Balan Pillai from Lewis & Co showed that Nurulhidayah was not a “proxy” of Yayasan Akalbudi in Ri-Yaz.
“There was nothing in the shares’ sale and purchase agreement to say she was a proxy taking care of Yayasan Akalbudi’s interest,” she added.
The prosecution also said Zahid’s former aide Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly’s was consistent in her testimony that he gave her permission to stamp signatures on Yayasan Akalbudi’s cheques for credit card payment.
“The defence tried to challenge her on that but she stood firm. They even tried to shift the blame to her by saying she was the one who kept the cheque books and signature stamp in a drawer, not the accused.
“This is merely an excuse. The accused was her boss, and if he can ‘boss’ his trustees around, why can’t the boss tell Mazlina to open the drawer?” Rozela said.
The hearing continues on Monday before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.-FMT