Zahid’s Trial: More Than RM1 Million in Cheques Issued to Yayasan Akalbudi Trustee

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A witness told the Kuala Lumpur High Court his construction company had issued three cheques totalling RM1,011,520 under the name of Messrs Lewis & Co, a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi belonging to Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Bernama

Cergas Murni Sdn Bhd director Paul Latimer, 78, said part of the amount was “protection money” for gangsters while the remaining was meant for his company’s operational matters, which included payment to subcontractors and suppliers during the construction of the third bridge in Klang from 2014 to 2017.

He said this during cross-examination by counsel Rosal Azimin Ahmad on the 24th day of Zahid’s trial. Zahid is facing 47 criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

However, Latimer said “I cannot recall” in his reply to a suggestion by Rozal his company had issues with machinery in 2016.

Rosal: All these cheques have nothing to do with Zahid, because you had no dealings with him?

Latimer: True.

Rosal: Your company was awarded the bridge project in Klang not because of Omar Ali (a money changer)?

Latimer: True.

During examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Jeffry Ong, the 73rd prosecution witness said the three cheques, totalling RM447,773.42, RM259,047.05 and 304,699.54 respectively, dated March 29 and April 6, 2016, were handed to Omar.

Another witness, HRA Teguh Sdn Bhd managing director Hashim Osman said his company received a total of RM217,000 in March 2016 from Omar.

Describing the money as a “friendly loan”, the 69-year-old witness said his company was facing financial difficulties to complete the highway project from Machang to Kuala Krai, in Kelantan.

“My company was handling a project and at times the payments from the client came in late. But as the project was already in progress, we need cash to keep it going,” said the 72nd prosecution witness.

Asked by Ong whether he took the initiative to find out how Omar acquired the money, Hashim said he did not.

“To me, we have to pay what we borrowed. I have no time to check (the source of the money). My concern was to ensure the project is completed,” he said.

In the 27th charge, Zahid is accused of having committed money-laundering by instructing Omar to convert for him a cash amount of RM6,885,300.20, which is income from illegal activities, into 30 cheques given to Messrs Lewis & Co for the opening of Maybank fixed deposit accounts.

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on July 14.


Earlier reports:

Jun 18, Zahid’s Trial: Contractor Says Zahid Paid Him RM1.4M Cash, No Records

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: After RM1.3M Blank Cheque Revelations, Witnesses Put Blame on Omar Ali

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Wife Signed Blank Cheque Book for Moneychanger Husband’s Use

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Contractor Tells Court of Dealings with Zahid’s Proxy

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Brother Cited Zahid as Having Paid RM5.9M for Country Heights Bungalows

Jun 16, Zahid’s Trial Brother Bought 2 Properties Worth RM5.9M Using Foundation Money

Jun 15, Zahid’s Trial: RM25M Banked into Proxy’s Account

Mar 6, Zahid’s Trial: Cheques Issued Meant for Moneychanger Ended up in Proxy Account

Mar 3, Zahid’s Trial: RM99M Worth of Cheques Went into Foundation’s Trustee Account

Feb 20, Zahid’s Trial: Businessman Insists RM2 Million Donations to Zahid, Not Bribery for Contracts

Feb 19, Zahid’s Trial: Alleged RM6M Political Donation

Feb 15, Zahid’s Trial: Zahid Directed That Datasonics Passport Chips to Be Used

Feb 13, Zahid’s Trial: Under-Performing Firm Allowed to Resupply Passport Chips

Feb 12, Zahid’s Trial: Foundation Never Audited Its Accounts or Filed Financial Reports with SSM

Feb 11, Zahid’s Trial: Former DPM Signed 51 Foundation Cheques Worth RM31M

Dec 13, Zahid’s Trial: Earned RM44,383 a Month as DPM

Dec 12, Zahid’s Trial: RM360K All Went Towards Voter Registration, Not to Print Quran

Dec 10, Zahid’s Trial: Firm Received RM360K from Zahid’s Charity Body for Voter Registration

Dec 10, Zahid’s Trial: Insurance, Road Tax for His 20 Vehicles Paid with Foundation Funds

Dec 5, Zahid’s Trial: 39 Insurance Policies Totalling RM72K for 20 Vehicles

Dec 3, Zahid’s Trial: Couple Owns 18 Luxury Vehicles

Dec 2, Zahid’s Trial: Wife’s Credit Cards Used for LV, Harrods, Armani, RM250K Spending Limit

Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Four

Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Three

Nov 20, Schoomate: I Signed Blank Cheques on Zahid’s Order, 

Nov 19, Zahid’s Trial: Day Two

Nov 18, Zahid Embezzled RM31M Meant for the Poor