KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had paid RM1,424,643.40 in cash to a contractor for renovating a bungalow in Country Heights, Kajang, which was purchased by the former deputy prime minister’s brother, the High Court was told today.
Contractor Marzuki Che Omar, 56, said he received the cash payments from Ahmad Zahid at Surau An Nur, Country Heights, Kajang during Subuh or Zohor prayers.
“I went to Surau An-Nur when told that Datuk Zahid would make a payment. I confirm that there was no written contract for the renovation works.
“I did not issue any receipts for payments received. I received only verbal instructions from Datuk Zahid. The transaction was done based on trust. I did not enquire where the money came from, but I confirm that all the payments I received were in cash, handed over by Datuk Zahid himself,” he said.
He said Ahmad Zahid had informed him that the bungalow renovation was to enable old folks to learn about religion under Yayasan Al-Falah.
He said this while reading from his witness statement during examination in chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi on the 23rd day of the trial of Ahmad Zahid, who is facing 47 criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
Yesterday, the 66th prosecution witness, Faisalludin Mohamat Yusuff, told the court that Ahmad Zahid contributed RM5.9 million to Yayasan Al-Falah, where his brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi was a member of the board of trustees, to purchase two bungalows in Country Heights, Kajang using a cheque from Messrs Lewis & Co, a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi belonging to Ahmad Zahid.
When asked by Ahmad Sazilee on the completion date of the bungalow renovation, Marzuki said work on Lot 403 bungalow began around September 2018 and was completed in the second week of February 2019.
“The date for the handing over of the key was March 30, 2019 and the bungalow had looked abandoned and unkempt (before the renovation),” he said, replying to Ahmad Sazilee’s question on the bungalow’s key hand-over date and its condition prior to the renovation.
Replying to a question from lawyer Haziq Dhiyauddin Razali, who was representing Ahmad Zahid, on whether the witness agreed that the bungalow has a huge space for learning or praying, he said, “Agree, there were carpets and saf arrangement to perform prayers.”
Marzuki, the managing director of Tekad Nusantara Sdn Bhd, also agreed with Haziq Dhiyauddin that there were rooms to rest and that the layout is similar to that of a madrasah.
For the 26th charge, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have instructed the purchase of two bungalows for RM5.9 million using a cheque belonging to Messrs Lewis & Co which was income from illegal activities.
Meanwhile, the prosecution’s 71st witness, Mohamed Husein Mohammad Annifah, 30, an employee of a money exchange company that belongs to Omar Ali Abdullah, told the court that his employer (Omar Ali) had instructed him to go to Hong Leong Bank in Jalan Imbi to convert RM100,000 cash into two bankers cheques.
“I was given cash amounting to RM100,000 in a bag by Omar Ali in the office. At the bank, I filled out details of my name, identification card number, and mobile number. In the recipient space, I wrote Lewis & Co as instructed by Omar Ali,” he said.
For the 27th charge, Ahmad Zahid is accused of having committed money-laundering by instructing one Omar Ali to convert for him a cash amount of RM6,885,300.20, which was income from illegal activities, into 30 cheques that were given to Messrs Lewis & Co for the opening of Maybank fixed deposit accounts.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges, with 12 of them involving criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on July 3.