Thursday, February 6, 2014

Accountant revises Bekir's worth to RM1.4bil

1:35PM Feb 5, 2014
Accountant Andrew Heng, who was appointed by Shahnaz A Majid, today reviewed the figure he gave to the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court of the worth of Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib’s assets from RM1.334 billion to RM1.395 billion.

This follows the addition of two assets, an Audi car and Bekir's stake in the Titanium Tower at Brighton Square, Kuching.

“Following this, I would like to inform the court that I am reviewing the earlier figure which I gave in court, of a range of between RM916 million to RM1.334 billion to RM976 million to RM1.395 billion.

“The figure is based on his shareholdings in 49 companies, his inheritance from his late mother, but now includes the Audi vehicle through Ivycraft Sdn Bhd, where he has a 50 percent stake, and also Titanium Tower,” Heng said in reply to questions from lawyer Akbardin Abdul Kader.

Previously, Heng said the Audi vehicle and Titanium Tower stake had not been taken into consideration.

Bekir holds stakes in Titanium Management Sdn Bhd, Titanium Engineering Sdn Bhd and Titanium Project Management Sdn Bhd, which operate from Titanium Tower.

Heng's new finding was made following the preparation of documents which were tendered as evidence in the trial.

The accountant had given various ranges on the value of Bekir’s assets, based on differing values of the palm oil land that the Sarawak chief minister’s son or his companies own.

At the last proceeding, the witness had testified that the palm oil land - which was found to be in excess of 24,000ha - is worth between RM636 million and RM1.055 billion.

Heng, a partner in the chartered accounting firm Baker Tilly, was testifying in the RM100 million mutaah (gift) claim filed by Shahnaz following her divorce by the Sarawak chief minister’s son.

Shahnaz is the sister of jazz queen Sheila A Majid.

Company searches marked as evidence

Today's proceeding saw several bundles of the original company searches done by Heng being marked as evidence.

Bekir's assets or stakes in the 49 companies are said to be worth RM219.6 million.

This follows the original searches done from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), which were only tendered today. Bekir's lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar had voiced his objection that witnesses from the CCM should be called.

However, syariah judge Mohamad Abdul Karim Wahab allowed the documents to be tendered as evidence after Shahnaz's lawyer Rafie Mohd Shafie (left) argued that computer print-outs made from the CCM could be admitted as evidence. Rafie also indicated that the plaintiff may call CCM witnesses to testify.

Road Transport Department searches conducted by Heng's firm were also admitted as evidence to show that the luxury vehicles owned by the Sarawak chief minister's son include a Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Bentley.

The Bugatti car - which was registered in 1995 - is worth RM1.18 million without the excise and duty, the accountant noted.

Heng said there are only 95 such models made in the world, and it is estimated that three of these are in Malaysia.

Bekir's accountants need two months

When it was time to cross-examine Heng, Zainul Rijal informed the court that they could not do so today.

The lawyer said he had referred some of the documents to Bekir's accountants, but they did not include those that were tendered today.

“The accountant told us they need about two months to study the report prepared by Heng and we are therefore applying for a postponement. I think this is only fair, as the plaintiff's hired accountant required from March till July to prepare the report.

Rafie and Akbardin objected to the postponement on the grounds that the preliminary report, which was used as a basis for their case, was first highlighted by Shahnaz in her testimony last November.

However, Syariah judge Mohamad Abdul Karim granted the postponement and fixed April 14 and 30, May 5, 9 and 16 as the continued hearing dates.
~ Malaysiakini

No comments: