During intense grilling, prosecution suggests assistant was not allowed to see Zahid’s credit card bills

KUALA LUMPUR, September 21 – Prosecution today suggested that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s aide, Major General (Rtd) Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican, overstayed his tenure as press secretary by asking then see his personal credit card bills.

This came during the thorough cross-examination by lead prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran of former Zahid press secretary Fadzlette.

Testifying as Zahid’s second defense witness in his trial over the alleged misappropriation of RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi charity funds, Fadzlette however insisted that she was following Zahid’s instructions when she asked to see the credit card bills.

Fadzlette was Zahid’s press secretary when he was appointed interior minister in 2013 and had continued to serve as his press secretary when he became deputy prime minister from 2013 to May 2018, and is now director of Zahid’s media in his current capacity as president of Umno.

She confirmed that her past work as a press officer had nothing to do with Zahid’s personal finances and said she did not know what instructions Zahid gave former executive secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, on managing his personal finances.

While saying that Zahid told her about Mazlina’s alleged mistakes in handling her personal finances, Fadzlette confirmed that she had no personal knowledge of them.

Earlier in the day, Fadzlette said Zahid ordered her to monitor Mazlina’s work regarding financial matters and claimed she asked Mazlina to show Zahid’s prepared credit card bills and checks before she left. be brought to Zahid to be signed. Fadzlette said Mazlina, however, made excuses and never showed him such documents.

Fadzlette later insisted that Zahid ordered him to verify with Mazlina the use of Yayasan Akalbudi’s checks and that Zahid asked for his credit card statements.

Agreeing with Raja Rozela that Zahid’s credit card statements had nothing to do with her personally, Fadzlette also agreed that those credit card bills were outside of her own duties.

Raja Rosela: Credit card statements are part of Major Mazlina’s duties to keep, to make credit card payments for Datuk Seri (Zahid), okay? Because it’s his duty, not yours.

Fazlette: Accept.

Raja Rosela: So for you to say that you asked Major Mazlina to show the credit card statements and checks is outside the scope of your duties as press secretary?

Fazlette: It’s on Datuk Seri Zahid’s orders.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik arrives at the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on September 21, 2022. — Photo by Firdaus Latif

As Raja Rozela repeated the question in his attempt to get a direct answer, Zahid’s lawyer, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said Fadzlette had already answered the question.

The judge then noted that the question was whether it was within Fadzlette’s jurisdiction and that the answer would have to be “yes” or “no.”

Raja Rozela repeated his question: “I asked, it is not your responsibility to ask Major Mazlina to show you the credit card statements, not your responsibility as a press officer, are- whether you agree or not, the question is simple.”

Hisyam intervened saying that Raja Rozela “must not intimidate the witness” and insisted that it was bullying based on the way Raja Rozela put the question to Fadzlette.

Raja Rozela then said, “I’m sorry, Monsignor, but it’s my natural mode, I’ll try to speak more softly.

Raja Rozela then continued to press Fadzlette to provide a direct answer to the same question, with a series of intense and brief questions.

Raja Rosela: I’m sorry if I speak rudely, I’m like that, plus you haven’t answered my question yet. You had no right to ask Major Mazlina to show the credit card statements and the checks prepared by her because you are a press secretary, do you agree or not?

Fazlette: I have the right because I am his commanding officer.

As Raja Rozela repeatedly pointed out “as the press officer, ma’am” to Fadzlette, Fadzlette tried to explain that she held “two hats” where she was both the press officer and also the “senior officer” of Mazlina’s army. In the army, Fadzlette was of a higher rank than Mazlina.

Raja Rosela: As a press officer you make speeches, now my question is directly related to your area of ​​expertise, as a press officer it is not included in your competence to ask for personal credit card statements from Zahid to Major Mazlina, do you agree or not? That’s all.

Fazlette: No.

Raja Rozela then said “hah, senang (easy)” in an apparent remark that it was a simple question.

Maj Gen (Rtd) Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican leaves the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on September 12, 2022. — Photo by Hari Anggara

Maj Gen (Rtd) Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican leaves the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on September 12, 2022. — Photo by Hari Anggara

The trial before High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow, and the prosecution is expected to continue cross-examining Fadzlette.

In this lawsuit, Zahid faces 47 counts, namely 12 counts of breach of trust in relation to over RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi Charitable Foundation funds, 27 counts of money laundering money and eight counts of bribery for receiving 21 RM25. millions of alleged bribes.

Zahid is a trustee and later became the sole signer of checks for Yayasan Akalbudi, a foundation set up to eradicate poverty and help the poor.

Zahid and his lawyers have sought to pin the blame on his former executive secretary, Major Mazlina [email protected], for using Yayasan Akalbudi checks for purposes such as paying credit card bills.

The 12 counts of criminal breach of trust relate to the alleged embezzlement of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, including RM1.3 million via 43 checks for his wife’s and wife’s credit card bills, 107,509 RM.55 via three checks for vehicle insurance and road tax for 20 private vehicles, a check for RM1.3 million to the police football association, a check for RM10 million for a loan to Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, RM360,000 via two checks to political consultancy firm TS Consultancy & Resources and more than RM17.9 million in funds transferred from Yayasan Akalbudi to law firm Lewis & Co.

Comments are closed.