KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator said in court today that the corruption charges against former home minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over cheques worth RM2 million were valid.
Zahid is currently facing trial in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur involving 47 charges, including three corruption charges over his alleged receiving of bribes worth RM2 million via three cheques in 2017 and 2018 from businessman Azlan Shah Jaffril.
Today, MACC officer Fairul Rafiq Hamirudin who had investigated the corruption claims on the RM2 million cheques continued to testify as the 89th prosecution witness in this trial.
Under cross-examination by Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Fairul Rafiq confirmed that Azlan is the main witness in court for the three corruption charges.
Teh went on to question if the MACC investigator knew that the businessman had testified in Zahid’s trial.
Teh: Do you know Azlan Shah has come to court and provided testimony and he said that there was no element of corruption to all the charges (16th, 17th, 18th charges), do you know or not?
Fairul Rafiq: Yes, based on the testimony given.
Teh then sought to suggest that this meant the prosecution’s three corruption charges against Zahid on the RM2 million cheques cannot be sustained.
The prosecution objected to this question, with deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi saying that such a question invites the witness to make presumptions when it should be the court that decides on the charges against Zahid.
The High Court then allowed the question by Zahid’s lawyers, after Teh explained that he was not asking for Fairul Rafiq’s opinion, but was instead putting the defence’s case to the MACC investigator.
Teh: I suggest that, based on the 38th prosecution witness’s evidence, the prosecution’s case to these three charges have collapsed or fallen, do you agree or not?
Fairul Rafiq: Disagree.
Azlan is the managing director of Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd, a company which operates two separate one-stop centres (OSC) for visa processing in Nepal and Pakistan.
Previously, Azlan had as the 38th prosecution witness told the court that he had personally delivered three cheques to Zahid in three separate meetings in 2017 and 2018 for the respective sums of RM300,000 (cheque dated July 31, 2017), RM1 million (cheque dated January 3, 2018), and RM700,000 (cheque dated February 9, 2018).
Azlan had described the three cheques totalling RM2 million issued by Profound Radiance as voluntary donations for charity and political funds for elections, and insisted in court that the money given do not amount to corruption and denied it was meant as a reward to Zahid in exchange for contracts to operate the visa processing centres in Nepal and Pakistan.
In this trial, Zahid ― who is a former deputy prime minister and 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.
The trial before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow morning.
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