Businessman Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib has accused his ex-wife of mounting a political attack against his father and family by dragging them into her claim for conciliatory payment in the Shariah court.
He said that allegations that his father, former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and he, had over 100 bank accounts in various countries including the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Hong Kong, were untrue.
He said a Swiss lawmaker had asked the country’s parliament to investigate if the claims were true.
“As a result of that investigation, it was found that my father and I did not have any bank accounts in that country.
“This is a mutaah claim, I don’t know why my father and my family are being dragged in.
“This is a political attack towards my father who has served the country and Sarawak well for 50 years,” he told the court today when re-examined by his lawyer Saadiah Din.
During court proceedings last year, Mahmud testified that his ex-wife’s claim for conciliatory payment had become a political conspiracy involving, among others, then-opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Mahmud had then named Clare Rewcastle-Brown of the Sarawak Report, the Bruno Manser Fund, private investigator Cullen Johnson and his wife, Anwar, as well as his ex-wife Shahnaz Majid and her lawyers, as those allegedly attempting to change the political landscape of Sarawak.
Today, Mahmud said that Cullen, a former cop in Toronto, pretended that he had unveiled information that his family had US$700 million in the foreign accounts by hacking, when in fact, he had forged the documents.
He added that Cullen and his wife were subsequently caught by the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation for forgery.
“Until now, not one of these so-called accounts have been revealed in this court.
It is slanderous to say US$700 million was hidden by me.
“At that time, (the allegations were made because) I was the son of the Sarawak chief minister,” he testified.
The defendant also told the court that he could not go on living with Shahnaz as she often scolded and was harsh towards him.
He added that he only got peace when he left home and decided at one point that he did not want to go on suffering in his marriage.
“Its tough to go out and try to make a living under such circumstances, I decided I could not go on living like that,” he said when questioned by his lawyer.
He also denied embarrassing the plaintiff by bringing another woman to his sister’s wedding party, saying that his parents and Shahnaz were aware that he was married to Australian Louise Aida Hiley at the time.
“She was not shocked or angry when I brought my wife to the wedding.
“My parents are very strict, they will not allow us to bring girlfriends home unless we were engaged or married, what more to an event.
“The plaintiff even chatted with my new in-laws at the event, so how can she claim I humiliated her,” he told the court.
He added that during the 12 years he lived apart from Shahnaz before he divorced her in May 2011, he had provided for her financially and had also bought her a bungalow in Damansara to live in.
“I would also fetch our son to play with his four siblings, I have four other children.
“I was giving her between RM15,000 and RM20,000 every month and also bought her jewelry on her birthday,” Mahmud told the court.
He further testified that he had divorced Hiley in 2005 and was now married to a Russian woman whom he married in 2003.
Hearing before judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab continues on August 27.
Shahnaz, the sister of popular singer Sheila Majid, is suing her ex-husband for RM100 million in conciliatory payment.
She is represented by lawyers Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie and Akbardin Abdul Kader.
The couple were married on January 9, 1992 and have a son named Raden Murya.
On May 11, 2011, the Syariah High Court confirmed their divorce. – August 17, 2015
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