Ahmad Zahid claims trial to another CBT charge

The new charge brings the total charges to 47 faced by former DPM so far

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDIN

UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) was yesterday charged with another count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM260,000 belonging to Yayasan Akal Budi, a welfare foundation that he chairs.

The former deputy prime minister (DPM) is already on trial for 46 charges of CBT, abuse of power and money laundering related to the charity foundation, as well as the award of contracts by the Home Ministry under the previous administration.

He is currently out on a RM2 million bail.

The new charge brings the total charges to 47 faced by Ahmad Zahid so far.

The 66-year-old pleaded not guilty after the additional charge was read before Judge Azura Alwi at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Ahmad Zahid was charged as the agent entrusted with the fund with committing the CBT by dishonestly using the money to make a payment to TS Consultancy & Resources three years ago.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at Affin Bank Bhd branch at No 133, Jalan Bunus, Off Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 23, 2016.

The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years, whipping and fine, upon conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi prosecuted, while Ahmad Zahid was represented by his lawyers — Hamidi Mohd Noh, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Kitson Foong, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Mohd Haziq Dhiyauddin and Asilah Mohamad Shahril.

The court set Feb 28 for re-mention.

Ahmad Zahid has relinquished his powers and duties as Umno president to his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, but still officially retains the position.

Ahmad Zahid, who was also Home Minister under the previous Barisan Nasional-led government, has continued to rally behind former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak when other senior figures have jumped ship and abandoned the latter over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

The US Department of Justice claims that over US$4.5 billion (RM18.3 billion) was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB, with US$700 million diverted into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

Najib will be facing trial for 42 counts of corruption and money laundering, in what many dub as the “mother of legal battles” in the Malaysian history. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.