KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The High Court here was told that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not benefit from the RM250,000 loan his younger brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi took from a textile wholesaler.
Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who represented Ahmad Zahid, said this was because Mohamad Nasaee paid the said amount to a law firm, Messrs Lewis & Co.
The lawyer said textile wholesaler Junaith Asharab, who was also the 36th prosecution witness, testified that Mohamad Nasaee personally wrote down law firm Messrs Lewis & Co to be the payee.
“According to Junaith, the cheque then cleared into Lewis & Co client’s account on July 15, 2016,” he said, adding that Mohamad Nasaee was never called by the prosecution to explain the issue (why the sum was made payable to the firm).
“There is no iota of evidence that the accused was aware of this and a party to the loan transaction. The accused did not receive the alleged gratification and there is absolutely no basis to say it was an inducement,” he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution's case before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
Hisyam said, in fact, during cross-examination, Junaith reiterated that the loan had nothing to do with the accused.
Therefore, the counsel insisted that the corruption charge against his client is completely baseless and groundless.
Earlier, Judge Sequerah allowed Ahmad Zahid’s application to cut short today’s proceedings at 11am as the accused needed to attend Parliament proceedings at 12pm.
The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament's (MP) lawyer Hamidi Mohd Nor informed the court that his client received a letter from the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday evening, hence he requested for today’s proceedings to be adjourned at 11 am.
Judge Sequerah then allowed Ahmad Zahid’s application for shorter proceedings as the prosecution did not raise objection over the matter.
Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges — 12 of criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering — involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
For the 26th money laundering charge, Ahmad Zahid is accused of having committed the offence by allegedly being engaged directly in a transaction involving proceeds from a lawful activity by giving instructions for the purchase of two property lots using a RM5.9 million cheque issued by law firm Messrs Lewis & Co.
The defence will continue its submissions tomorrow.