Company’s RM1 mil cheque was political donation to Zahid, court told

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi gestures to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard today that RM1 million paid to a law firm implicated in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption case was a political donation to the former deputy prime minister.

Zahid’s lawyer Hisyam Teh, in questioning prosecution witness and Maybank officer Harryade Mohamad Arbe on the purpose of the cheque from a company, Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd, had suggested that the RM1 million was a “political fund”.

The witness was then referred to a copy of the company’s cheque butt in court.

“It says ‘political fund to TPM’ here,” Harryade said, in reading out what was written on the copy.

The bank officer said the RM1 million cheque dated Jan 3, 2018, was paid under the client’s account to the law firm Lewis & Co.

To Hisyam’s questions regarding two other Profound Radiance cheques amounting to RM1 million, Harryade said these were recorded as “charity” on the copies of the cheque butt.

He added that the cheques were issued on July 31, 2017 and Feb 9, 2018.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with Baling MP and former Tabung Haji chairman, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Zahid, who is the Umno president, is accused of receiving a total of RM2 million in bribes from Profound Radiance director Azlan Shah Jaffril as an inducement to appoint the firm to operate the One Stop Centre for Pakistani and Nepali workers.

It was alleged that the cheques from Profound Radiance were deposited into Lewis & Co’s bank account.

Meanwhile, another bank officer, Faiz Azfar Mohamad Azahar from RHB Islamic, told the court that 10 cheques amounting to RM5 million were also paid to Lewis & Co on Jan 3, 2017.

He said that the bank’s customer, Berani & Jujur Trading, had issued the 10 cheques.

He said another 13 cheques, totalling RM8 million, were issued to Lewis & Co between Nov 23, 2016 and Jan 6, 2017 by Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, which also had an account with RHB Islamic.

To a suggestion by Hisyam that the 23 cheques issued by the two companies were meant for “Islamic charity” purposes, Faiz said he had no knowledge of it.

It was also alleged that Zahid had received RM13 million in bribes from Mastoro Kenny, through an individual named Junaith Asharab Md Shariff, to assist Mastoro Kenny get the home ministry’s MyEG project.

Another bank officer, Hasnizailawaty Sudin from Maybank, told the court that a client of the bank, Sarana Kencana Sdn Bhd, had issued two cheques amounting to RM6 million to Lewis & Co on April 25, 2017.

She said she was not aware if Lewis & Co was the trustee for Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi and if the RM6 million was meant for “Islamic charity”.

Zahid faces 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

The hearing continues before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.