Zahid’s trial: Key witness who testified about credit card payments on sick leave, case to resume Friday

KUALA LUMPUR : Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s criminal trial did not proceed as scheduled today, because the key witness who testified yesterday is on sick leave.

Today, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi informed the court that the 90th prosecution witness Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly would not be able to testify today.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during trial in Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 26, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during trial in Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 26, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

“As we received a WhatsApp from the witness Major Mazlina that she has a sick leave, the sick leave was presented through WhatsApp,” he said, before proceeding to hand over to the court a printed copy of the certificate for medical leave that was received via WhatsApp.

Ahmad Sazilee also told the court that the prosecution will submit the original copy of Mazlina’s medical leave certificate to the High Court this Friday.

Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the defence had no objections to this.

Ahmad Sazilee also said Mazlina would be available to testify this Friday.

Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 25, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 25, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Yesterday, Mazlina had testified that Zahid had allowed the use of his charitable organisation Yayasan Akalbudi’s cheques for various payments, namely paying his personal credit card bills, vehicle insurance and road tax for Zahid’s vehicles, a payment to the Persatuan Bolasepak PDRM and two companies (Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, as well as TS Consultancy & Resources).

Mazlina had also testified that Zahid had allowed the use of a stamp of his signature on cheques for Yayasan Akalbudi to pay for his credit card bills, also testifying that he had instructed in 2016 for all of Yayasan Akalbudi’s RM17.9 million funds to be withdrawn from the bank and converted to a bankers’ cheque made out to law firm Lewis & Co.

Mazlina was Zahid’s executive secretary from 2011 to 2018 throughout his stints first as defence minister, and subsequently, as home minister and deputy prime minister.

Zahid’s trial is scheduled to resume this Friday.

On Friday, the High Court is expected to hear Mazlina’s testimony first, before hearing arguments from both the prosecution and defence on whether the findings of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator’s probe amounts to hearsay and is admissible as testimony in court.

The prosecution previously told the court that it has lined up a total of eight investigating officers (IOs) to testify in Zahid’s trial, but the court is expected to hear and decide on whether investigating officers’ findings could be part of their witness statement before these IOs are allowed to take the stand.

In this trial, Zahid ― who is also currently the Umno president ― is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money-laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.

BY : IDA LIM – MALAY MAIL

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