Zahid to face at least 35 charges involving RM7 million

PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is expected to face at least 35 charges amounting to RM7 million under the Penal Code as well as anti-money laundering and corruption laws, sources said.

It is believed that some of the offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla) were allegedly committed between 2014 and last year.

A source said if the offences were committed before September 2014, Zahid could face a fine of up to RM5 million, a maximum jail term of five years, or both.

If the offences were committed after September 2014, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the sum of the proceeds of the unlawful activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

The former deputy prime minister also faces charges for corruption under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, where an offender could be jailed up to 20 years and fined not less than five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Zahid, who is the MP for Bagan Datuk, will also face charges for criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code and could face up to 20 years’ jail if convicted.

Zahid, who was arrested today after he was summoned by the MACC, is expected to be brought to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court tomorrow.

He arrived at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya for questioning over the alleged abuse of funds of a family-run foundation, Yayasan Akal Budi.

He spent some 11 hours last week during his session with MACC investigators.

When he was first called up for questioning in July, he told MACC that RM800,000 had been reimbursed to the foundation two years ago.

He had then said that an employee of the foundation had mistakenly issued a company cheque to pay his credit card bills, instead of following his instruction to prepare payment from his personal bank account.