Zahid unrelated to brother’s RM250,000 mortgage from businessman, so bribery cost is ‘defective’

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex September 14, 2021. — Bernama pic

© Offered by Malay Mail
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured on the Kuala Lumpur Court docket Advanced September 14, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Former residence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi mustn’t have been charged with corruption over his brother’s RM250,000 mortgage from a businessman, his lawyer instructed the courtroom at present.

Ahmad Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik argued that his shopper had no connection in any respect with this transaction, and that this meant he mustn’t proceed to face the corruption cost within the Excessive Court docket.

For this corruption cost, Ahmad Zahid is accused of getting obtained gratification from Mastoro Kenny IT Marketing consultant & Companies within the type of a RM250,000 cheque — issued by Jogabonito Jewelry & Diamonds — through businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff — and made out to the legislation agency Lewis & Co.

Below this corruption cost, Ahmad Zahid was alleged to have obtained the RM250,000 in July 2016 as an alleged inducement for him as an officer of a public physique — as residence minister then — to hold out a proposed transaction of serving to Mastoro Kenny receive MyEG initiatives below the Residence Ministry’s purview.

(Based mostly on earlier courtroom testimony by Junaith Asharab’s former Perak schoolmate M. Kumaraguru M. Muthusamy, he had in 2016 arrange Mastoro Kenny on Junaith Asharab’s request because the latter claimed to have the ability to receive initiatives from public-listed agency MyEG Companies Bhd, however stated this firm by no means obtained any initiatives from MyEG or anybody since its formation till it closed down in 2018.)

a person standing in a room: Businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 19, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

© Offered by Malay Mail
Businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff is pictured on the Kuala Lumpur Excessive Court docket February 19, 2020. — Image by Shafwan Zaidon

Teh stated the defence concedes that Ahmad Zahid was an officer of a public physique then, however went on to argue that the RM250,000 was really a mortgage given by businessman Junaith Asharab to Ahmad Zahid’s youthful brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi and that this mortgage was then repaid in full.

In Junaith Asharab’s earlier courtroom testimony because the thirty sixth prosecution witness within the trial, the textile wholesaler had stated that Mohamad Nasaee had in June 2016 requested the RM250,000 mortgage with a promise to repay it in two months’ time.

Junaith Asharab had additionally beforehand testified he had then handed a RM250,000 cheque issued by Jogabonito to Mohamad Nasaee in July 2016 within the latter’s Cyberjaya workplace with the latter then filling up the cheque recipient as Lewis & Co. 

(Jogabonito is an organization belonging to Junaith Asharab’s former Perak schoolmate M. Kumaraguru M. Muthusamy which had issued two cheques price RM250,000 every after money deposits of the identical quantity was made, with Kumaraguru having beforehand instructed the courtroom this was to allow Junaith Asharab to make use of the cheques because the latter had allegedly ran out of cheque books from his personal firm Berani & Jujur Buying and selling.)

Teh highlighted Junaith Asharab as having instructed the courtroom that Mohamad Nasaee had returned the RM250,000 quantity in money to him in October 2017 in Mohamad Nasaee’s workplace in Cyberjaya.

“There was a mortgage from SP36 (Junaith Asharab) to Nasaee, and SP36 stated this mortgage has been repaid,” he stated.

Teh stated the prosecution was arguing that the RM250,000 cheque was obtained by Ahmad Zahid as gratification, however disputed this by saying that Junaith Asharab had testified that Ahmad Zahid “has bought no connection, none in any way with this cheque”

“The accused particular person holds no connection or nexus with this mortgage, he didn’t know of that,” Teh argued.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex August 18, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

© Offered by Malay Mail
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik is pictured on the Kuala Lumpur Court docket Advanced August 18, 2020. ― Image by Hari Anggara

Responding to the prosecution’s written submissions that argued Ahmad Zahid as having obtained the cheque primarily based on “circumstantial proof”, Teh continued to dispute this.

“There isn’t any foundation, no direct proof, My Lord should act on direct proof versus their circumstantial proof. This cost could be very clear, it’s not primarily based on legislation, not primarily based on proof, and this cost should fall.

Teh argued that there was additionally no inducement as alleged in the direction of Ahmad Zahid in relation to the RM250,000 cheque, clarifying to the decide at present that Junaith Asharab was a dealer that had “nothing to do with MyEG” and who had not obtained any MyEG initiatives.

Teh additionally confirmed to the decide that the corporate MyEG is just not a part of the federal government, and confirmed to the decide that Mohamad Nasaee was not ready to award any contracts.

Teh identified that Mohamad Nasaee was not known as in by the prosecution as a prosecution witness in Ahmad Zahid’s trial, however was solely provided as a possible defence witness for Ahmad Zahid if he’s required to enter defence.

Regardless that the prosecution had beforehand challenged Junaith Asharab’s credibility by declaring him a “hostile witness” after he gave conflicting testimony in courtroom, Teh argued that his testimony is just not completely rejected and that the courtroom might nonetheless settle for elements of the testimony that may be corroborated and remained credible. 

Teh concluded his arguments by saying that Ahmad Zahid ought to be launched from this corruption cost below Part 16(b)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee Act.

“This cost is a defective cost not supported by legislation, not supported by proof.

“That’s why within the introduction, we submit very clearly this can be a case of over-prosecution, a case the place the accused particular person has been unnecessarily prosecuted and that is one good instance. For no rhyme or cause, this cost has been most well-liked in opposition to the accused. And with no proof, this cost should fall,” he argued.

On Thursday final week (September 9), Teh too had highlighted Junaith Asharab’s courtroom testimony that the RM250,000 mortgage had nothing to do with Ahmad Zahid, and stated this meant his shopper mustn’t have been charged with corruption on this matter.

Teh had at the moment stated: “With this, it’s very clear, no corruption, nothing to do with the accused in any way, accused has been wrongly charged. Helps our rivalry that there’s an indirect motive, over-prosecution.”

At the moment, the decide had highlighted that the prosecution was connecting the RM250,000 sum to MyEG, however Teh had then stated that Junaith Asharab had by no means stated something about MyEG in relation to the RM250,000 cheque. “It’s a mortgage, pure and easy,” Teh had stated then.

That is the primary of the eight corruption prices that Ahmad Zahid’s legal professionals will search to deal with the courtroom on.

The trial earlier than Excessive Court docket decide Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow, with Ahmad Zahid’s legal professionals anticipated to current arguments referring to the opposite corruption prices.

The place the trial is at now

On this trial, Ahmad Zahid — who’s the present Umno president — is dealing with 47 prices, particularly 12 counts of legal breach of belief in relation to charitable basis Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of cash laundering, and eight counts of bribery prices.

To this point, Ahmad Zahid’s legal professionals have argued that he ought to have “immunity” from prosecution for 46 out of the 47 prices as a result of a now-repealed legislation that grants such immunity to those that give truthful data to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee.

Ahmad Zahid’s legal professionals have additionally to date listed out their causes on why their shopper mustn’t proceed to be prosecuted for the 12 legal breach of belief prices and the 27 cash laundering prices.

It’s but to be the prosecution’s flip to current their oral submissions or arguments verbally earlier than the decide.

The trial is now on the finish of the prosecution’s case, with 99 prosecution witnesses having already testified beforehand. 

Ahmad Zahid’s legal professionals and the prosecution are to current their remaining arguments verbally earlier than the courtroom decides on whether or not a prima facie case has been confirmed by the prosecution.

If the prosecution is discovered to have confirmed a prima facie case, Ahmad Zahid must enter his defence. If no prima facie case is discovered, he can be acquitted of the costs.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi posing for the camera

© Offered by Malay Mail

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