Lewis & Co not a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi, court told


A PARTNER of  Messrs Lewis & Co told the High Court here today that the legal firm was a not a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi, which is owned by former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture).

V.Premshangar, 50, also said the firm had never handled files or ledgers relating to the foundation.

He said this when cross-examined by lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Ahmad Zahid, on the 32nd day trial of the Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament, who is facing criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

“We have never opened a file for Yayasan Akalbudi and we were never a trustee for Yayasan Akalbudi,” he added.

To a question whether he agreed that a discussion between his partner, B. Muralidharan and Ahmad Zahid  at the former deputy prime minister’s residence in Country Heights, Kajang, in April 201 on a fixed saving account was for the foundation, Premshangar said he disagreed.

Premshangar has been with Lewis & Co since 1995 and became it partner in 1998.

Last July 30, an accountant at Lewis & Co, V. Sothilechmy, who is the 85th witness, told the court that the legal firm opened a file under the name of  Yayasan Al-Falah in May 2016 for welfare purposes.

Prior to this, 66th prosecution witness, lawyer and a trustee of Yayasan Al-Falah, Faisalludin Mohamat Yusuff, 43, told the court that the foundation belonged to the Hamidi family, while Yayasan Akalbudi was for Ahmad Zahid.

Meanwhile, when reading out his witness statement, Premshangar said he had no knowledge as to how Lewis & Co could be involved in managing money from Ahmad Zahid as the matter was handled solely by Muralidharan.

He also said that he did not receive any  instructions directly from Ahmad Zahid to do so.

Ahmad Zahid, 67, is facing 27 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi and eight counts of corruption.

The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.


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