Defence claims charges collapsed as witness gave unreliable testimony in Ahmad Zahid’s trial

 Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (The Edge filepix)

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (The Edge filepix)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): Three out of eight corruption charges faced by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi relating to Yayasan Akalbudi funds have collapsed, as the prosecution's star witness had given unreliable testimony during the former deputy prime minister's trial, the High Court heard today.

Ahmad Zahid's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitted that the prosecution had complained about the evidence given by its own star witness, Junaith Asharab Md Shariff, and applied for him to be treated as hostile.

“Junaith, who is also the 36th prosecution witness, in his written statement said, the accused (Ahmad Zahid) promised to give him MYEG projects worth about RM50 million, after the 14th General Election and asked him to submit his proposals (for the project). 

“When being cross-examined, Junaith maintained what he said in his written statement on these aspects were not true. There is a serious conflict of evidence. Therefore, he is no longer reliable on those aspects," he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution's case before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

The counsel further submitted that the court should reject Junaith's contradicting testimonies on these paragraphs as they were not reliable.

"When a material witness for the prosecution demonstrably gives conflicting answers on material parts of his evidence, his credibility was compromised. The benefit of the doubt must tilt in favour of the defence. On this ground alone, charges 11, 12 and 13 faced by the accused, collapse," Hisyam said.

The 11th charge accuses Ahmad Zahid of having received a bribe from Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, in the form of a Public Islamic Bank Berhad cheque for RM250,000 belonging to Jogabonito Jewellery & Diamonds through Junaith Asharab Md Shariff via a Maybank account of Lewis & Co.

The 12th charge against Ahmad Zahid is for allegedly having received a bribe from Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services in the form of 13 RHB Islamic Bank Berhad cheques for RM8 million belonging to Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services through Junaith Asharab Md Shariff via a Maybank account of Lewis & Co.

The 13th charge accuses Ahmad Zahid of having received a bribe from Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services in the form of 10 RHB Islamic Bank Berhad cheques for RM5 million belonging to Berani & Jujur Trading through Junaith Asharab Md Shariff via the Maybank account of Lewis & Co.

Ahmad Zahid is accused of having committed these three offences as an inducement to assist Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services to secure MyEG projects handled by the Home Affairs Ministry.

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 defence will continue its submission on Sept 20.