KUALA LUMPUR: The spending habits of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is accused of misappropriating millions from charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB), are irrelevant and should not have been brought up in court, says his lawyer.
Lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh, who represented Ahmad Zahid, said that the prosecution should not have brought up Ahmad Zahid’s shopping spree with his wife, Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, as it was irrelevant to the case and that the statement was highly prejudicial.
“We strongly object to the use of irrelevant facts mentioned by the prosecution.
“The spending habits of the accused are not relevant. We must discredit that evidence, especially that part which the prosecutor said in court, she plays it up and at the end of the day, it was said and reported in the news,” he said in his submissions.
Hamidi was referring to a part in the submissions of Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran where she had said: “While I admit that this is not an issue in our case but one cannot help but wonder if they had in mind the poor people in Malaysia when they shop at Armani and Hermes.”
Hamidi also said that it was unfair for the prosecution to describe his client as “the boss” in YAB who had control of the foundation.
“My learned friend (Raja Rozela) uses the phrase, ‘what the boss wants, the boss gets’. It was widely reported in the media. I would like to stress that this is not fair,” he added.
The lawyer said there was a board of trustees in YAB and all three (trustees) were “the boss”.
“And this is why they were confronted as trustees, not as men from Bagan Datuk or subservient to the boss, they came in as trustees and the prosecution called trustees,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.
The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Monday (Nov 29).