KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix) today denied in the High Court that he had pointed fingers at his former executive secretary Maj Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly over the settlement of his personal credit card bills using Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) cheques in order to absolve himself.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, also denied that his testimony in court stating that he did not know Mazlina made credit card payments using the foundation’s cheques was a lie.

He said this when questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran during the defence proceedings on 47 charges against him, namely 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering, involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds belonging to YAB.

Raja Rozela: I suggest that Datuk Seri (you) did not say a single word (to deny this) to the recording officer of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when the statement was recorded because you yourself had allowed Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly to use the YAB cheques to pay for the credit card.

Ahmad Zahid: I do not agree.

Ahmad Zahid also did not agree with Raja Rozela’s suggestion that he had the opportunity to provide an explanation to the MACC and deny his involvement in the payments for his personal credit card.

Raja Rozela: Nevermind, I suggest that whether the original cheque or image was shown to you, it dids not prevent you from giving an explanation to the MACC.

Ahmad Zahid: I was under duress (at the time) because the statement was taken until 10 pm.

The Bagan Datuk MP also disagreed with the prosecution that his testimony in court was false because it was not the same as the statement recorded with the MACC.

Raja Rozela: This is your statement (to the MACC), so are you saying that the statement made (previously) was not true?

Ahmad Zahid: Your Honour, when you are under duress and the statement is prepared, what choice do you have?

Earlier during the proceedings in the morning, Ahmad Zahid asserted that YAB’s decision to invest RM10 million in Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd was not recorded in the foundation’s resolution due to a mistake by the company secretary.

Ahmad Zahid said before the resolution on the investment was prepared, he had held discussions about it with two trustees of the foundation.

Raja Rozela: If it is true to say that the RM10 million is an investment, why is there no black and white agreement between YAB and Armada Holdings?

Ahmad Zahid: No (there wasn’t), it was just verbal agreement.

The witness agreed with Raja Rozela that RM10 million was not a small amount and that the original purpose of the establishment of YAB was to help ‘asnaf’ (zakat recipients) and the poor.

Raja Rozela: But Datuk Seri (you) decided to invest RM10 million in Armada Holdings, which does not belong to the poor.

Ahmad Zahid: True, Armada Holdings is not an asnaf. But it (RM10 million given to Armada Holdings) is a form of investment that will get a ‘return on investment’.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on July 4. — Bernama