KUALA LUMPUR: The former press secretary to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was grilled by the prosecution team over her work scope in the trial of the corruption case involving the former deputy prime minister at the High Court here.
During cross-examination, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran suggested to Major General (Rtd) Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican that the task of requesting credit card statements and cheques from Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly (Ahmad Zahid’s former executive secretary) was beyond her scope of work as a press secretary.
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However, Fadzlette, 60, did not answer the question specifically, causing Raja Rozela to question the action of the second defence witness who could not answer an easy question.
Ahmad Zahid’s counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik then got up and said Raja Rozela was intimidating the witness.
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Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah, however, said Raja Rozela did not intimidate the witness and allowed the prosecution to ask the question.
Raja Rozela: I try to speak more sweetly, but Datuk (Fadzlette) didn’t answer the question. Do you agree if I say that it’s beyond your jurisdiction to ask for bank statements and cheques from Major Mazlina because you are just a press secretary who only makes speech texts.
Earlier, Fadzlette, in her witness statement, said she knew of issues involving Mazlina’s negligence as Ahmad Zahid had mentioned it before to her and had instructed her to keep an eye on her, as she (Fadzlette) was ranked higher in the Armed Forces.
“I informed Major Mazlina what Ahmad Zahid told me. I had once asked Major Mazlina to show me the credit card statements and cheques that were prepared before they were to be signed by Ahmad Zahid,” she said.
In addition, Fadzlette said Mazlina committed insubordination more than 10 times, but no complaint was made against her and only the deputy prime minister’s senior private secretary was informed about it.
Fadzlette, who is also the Umno president’s media director, agreed with Raja Rozela’s suggestion that no action was taken against Mazlina under the Armed Forces Act 1972.
Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 47 charges, namely, 12 charges of criminal breach of trust, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).
The trial continues on Thursday (Sept 22). – Bernama