KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's trial today contended that he should never have used Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds money to pay the wages of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) football team (then PDRM FA, now PDRM FC) because the club players should not have come under the poverty group category who needed help.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the football club players were all professionals and the only issue they faced was unpaid wages, a problem which the club itself could have resolved.

"It is a football club, not a non-governmental organisation that runs a soup kitchen or a food bank.

"These players are professional players. Players are given wages, shortfall of money doesn't necessarily make one poor, it does not make one poor or destitute. It does not fall into the category of poverty as stated or as envisaged in the memorandum or objectives of (the) establishment of YAB," she said.

Raja Rozela said this in her submission at the end of the prosecution's case against the former deputy prime minister, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

The objective of setting up the YAB was to accept and manage funds to eradicate poverty under its poverty eradication programme, she said.

The payment to the PDRM Football Association players was confirmed by 19th prosecution witness, Datuk Zul Hisham Zainal, who is also Ahmad Zahid's son-in-law, during his testimony, who said the donation was to pay the player's wages and he had sought help for funds from his father-in-law.

During the defense submission, Ahmad Zahid's lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh had submitted that the RM1.3 million payment to the football club was to 'eradicate poverty among its players.

Raja Rozela further submitted that even civil servants should qualify for poverty aid from YAB because they do not get paid as much, suggesting that the football club does not fit the description of being in poverty.

"Let's forget about the footballers, let's look at civil servants, they don't get much in terms of salary. By the first week of payday, half of the room would probably qualify as poor. Easily qualify to receive 'sumbangan' (contribution) from YAB, courtesy of the accused.

"In this instance, the accused acted dishonestly when he misappropriated the RM1.3 million YAB cheque," she said.

The prosecution said that the accused had treated the monies as if they were his own in which 50 cheques were issued between 2014 and 2016 from YAB's account involving a sum of RM13.1 million.

Besides that, Raja Rozela said Ahmad Zahid had given a RM10 million loan to Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd with an agreement that it should be repaid to him within a month with interest.

"The accused also used YAB funds to pay over RM1.3 million for his credit card bills used for shopping sprees at luxury stores like Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton or Hermes and used RM107,508.55 to pay road tax and insurance for 20 vehicles belonging to him (Ahmad Zahid) and three others, including his wife (Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis), BZ Motors and Juhari Janan, between January and September 2015," she said.

Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges - 12 for CBT, eight for corruption, and 27 for money laundering - involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi. The hearing before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.