Embattled Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was today slapped with an additional charge of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM260,000 belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The 66-year-old former deputy prime minister, however, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial after the additional charge was read before Judge Azura Alwi at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
The new charge brought the total to 47 charges faced by Zahid so far.
Clad in a long-sleeved batik shirt, Zahid who arrived at the court at 8.40 am, appeared calm when the charge was read to him.
Zahid, as the agent entrusted with RM260,000 belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, was charged with committing the CBT by dishonestly using the money to make a payment to TS Consultancy & Resources, three years ago.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at Affin Bank Berhad branch at 133 Jalan Bunus, Off Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 23, 2016.
The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping and fine, upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi prosecuted, while Zahid was represented by his lawyers, Hamidi Mohd Noh, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Kitson Foong, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Mohd Haziq Dhiyauddin and Asilah Mohamad Shahril.
The court extended the RM2 million bail previously imposed on him and set Feb 28 for mention.
On Oct 19 and Dec 14 last year, the Bagan Datuk MP pleaded not guilty to a total of 46 charges, comprising 11 charges of CBT, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering involving millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
Meanwhile, it was reported that TS Consultancy & Resources had ceased operations after only slightly more than two years, according to company records.
According to Malaysiakini, checks with Companies Commission of Malaysia revealed that the company was registered in February 2015 and terminated in May 2017.
The company with a registered address in Putrajaya stated its nature of business as a provider of trainings, seminars and motivational sessions.