KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The High Court was told today that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had actual knowledge about the misuse of Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds since 2014.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said, instead, the former deputy prime minister turned the blame and pointed the finger at his former executive secretary, Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly.
“In fact, the prosecution would go as far as to submit that the accused was determined to make Major Mazlina a scapegoat for his own mess.
“It is our contention that the accused must take responsibility for the acts of Major Mazlina. It is abundantly clear from the evidence that she was following orders in preparing the cheques.”
Raja Rozela said this in her submission at the end of the prosecution’s case against Ahmad Zahid, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering involving YAB funds.
The DPP said the evidence adduced by the prosecution that the issuance of the relevant YAB cheques by Mazlina was done with the knowledge and upon the instructions of the accused while the assertion that he (Ahmad Zahid) had no knowledge was patently untrue.
She submitted that Mazlina prepared the cheques upon the accused’s instructions, whether the signed cheques or stamped cheques, to pay the credit card bills or for insurance and road tax.
She said Mazlina was a credible witness, in fact, her actions were consistent as a soldier obeying the commands of her superior.
“We submit that it is easy to appreciate the fact that Mazlina was forthright in her response to the learned counsel’s questions during cross-examination. She readily owned up to her mistakes and made no attempt to embellish or varnish her testimony.
“She was consistent in her evidence regarding the permission and approval the accused had given her on the use of YAB cheques and his (Ahmad Zahid) signature stamp. In short, her evidence remained intact throughout the three stages of examination,” she added.
Raja Rozela further submitted that the evidence from direct, circumstantial and documentary evidence at the trial warranted the accused to enter his defense on all charges.
She said based on all the arguments and the evidence shown, a prima facie case had been clearly established in respect of all 12 CBT charges against the accused.
“We have proven that the accused had the requisite mens rea to commit the offenses through direct evidence and by way of invoking the statutory presumption under Section 409B of the Penal Code.
“The accused also had misappropriated the YAB funds in the current account and seven fixed deposit accounts entrusted to him,” she said.
Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 for CBT, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The hearing before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Wednesday.