I was director but had no knowledge of what went on in Zahid’s org, court told

Zulkifli Senteri says he was asked by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to resign as a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi linked to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he was never part of the foundation’s affairs or activities.

Zulkifli Senteri, a former lecturer of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who is now a vice-chancellor of a private university in Selangor, told Zahid’s corruption trial today that he had also never signed any cheque and document for the organisation despite being a signatory.

Zulkifli further said had no knowledge whether the foundation’s accounts were ever audited.

“I signed documents as required by SSM (Companies Commission) for my appointment as director,” he said, adding that he was never briefed about his duties when was appointed as a director in 1997.

He said in April 2012, Zahid demanded his resignation, to which he obliged.

“I was not told why I should resign but I took it as an order because I was never really involved in Yayasan Akalbudi’s operations,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today to attend his corruption trial.

Zahid, the former deputy prime minister, is facing 47 charges involving millions of ringgit of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

They include 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering.

Yesterday, the court heard from another former trustee, Mohd Samsuri Tun, who claimed Zahid had ordered him to sign blank cheques without being informed of the purpose of the cheques.

When questioned by Zahid’s lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Zulkifli denied he had met Samsuri to plan their witness statements.

Zaidi then proceeded to show Zulkifli the witness statement by Samsuri tendered in court yesterday.

Deputy public prosecutors Lee Keng Fatt and Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi stood up to object the lawyer’s action, saying it could be prejudicial to Zulkifli’s answers.

Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said that the scope of cross examination by defence lawyers was wide enough for them to ask on a previous witness statement.

Zaidi then pointed out to Zulkifli that four paragraphs in Samsuri’s statements were similar to his.

Zulkifli replied that his witness statement was prepared by officers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Collin then told Zaidi that the lawyer should end his questioning on similarities in witness statements.

The hearing continues at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.