Zahid’s Trial: 92 Cheques Worth RM76M from Zahid to Law Firm

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More than RM76 million went into the client’s account of law firm Messrs Lewis & Co as instructed by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

This was revealed by B Muralidharan, a partner at the firm during the former deputy prime minister’s corruption trial involving millions of ringgit of funds from charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.

Under examination-in chief by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, the 87th prosecution witness said the monies were made via cheques which were handed to him by Zahid in different occasions between May 20, 2016 and April 9, the same year.

Muralidharan said he received the cheques which were 92 in total at different locations, including at Zahid’s residence in Country Heights, the latter’s office and sometimes the cheques would be sent to the firm.

“But usually it (cheque) will arrive at my office in an envelope which will be placed on my table. There will also be a note in the envelope saying who it was from,” he said.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

The 62-year old witness, who is a lawyer and solicitor, also testified that he was told by Zahid that the cheques were meant for charitable and religious purposes.

This, in particular, was for the construction of a mosque and a Tahfiz school in Bagan Datuk, Perak, he said.

Muralidharan added that the moment the cheques were cleared he was told by Zahid to put the money in fixed deposit accounts so that interest could be earned.

He said the fixed deposit accounts were placed under Yayasan Al-Falah, a charity foundation belonging to Zahid’s family in which his younger brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi was the chairman and trustee in it.

Although the client’s account was opened for Yayasan Al-Falah, the witness said the cheques were from Zahid and not from the charity foundation.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

He added that Zahid was not a trustee in Yayasan Al-Falah.

Muralidharan said he was appointed to represent Yayasan Al-Falah when he received the first batch of cheques around 2016, but there were no documents stating his appointment as he was doing pro bono work for the foundation.

“It is a practice of the firm to work on pro bono basis for charitable work and this included for temples and churches.

“We did no legal works (for the foundation). Just collect cheques and placed as stakeholders,” he said.

He also said the instruction to hold the monies came from Zahid and not from Yayasan Al-Falah adding that Mohamad Nasaee knew about it.

Muralidharan said he had known Zahid since around 2006 or 2007 when they met in a mutual acquaintance’s office and Lewis & Co had handled some civil litigation matters for Zahid, but confirmed that he had kept in touch after that.

“I used to go to his house during Hari Raya festivals or functions at his house in Country Heights,” he said, before describing their relationship as one that involves “trust” and maybe “friendship”.

Throughout the time that Muralidharan had known him, Zahid was first the defence minister, before later becoming home minister, and the deputy prime minister.

Trial resumes tomorrow before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

On Oct 19 and Dec 14, 2018 and Feb 20, last year, Zahid pleaded not guilty to a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for bribery and 27 for money-laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Earlier reports:

Aug 11, Zahid’s Trial: Legal Firm Not Trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi

Aug 10, Zahid Pleads Not Guilty to Amended Charges in Graft Trial

Jul 30, Zahid’s Trial: Law Firm Placed RM66.6M in Fixed Deposits, Yayasan Akalbudi Not a Client

Jul 29, Zahid’s Trial: Moneychanger Omar Ali Insists Zahid Ordered Millions in Cash Converted into Cheques

Jul 28, Zahid’s Trial: Zahid’s Daughter Said Father Had Funds for Her Takeover of Company’s Share

Jul 27, Zahid’s Trial: Businessman Donated RM6.6M to Yayasan Akalbudi to Secure Project

Jul 14, Zahid’s Trial: MyEG Director Gave RM9M to Zahid’s Foundation

Jul 3, Zahid’s Trial: More than RM1 Million in Cheques Issued to Yayasan Akalbudi Trustee

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