KUALA LUMPUR: The Sarawak Governor’s son, businessman Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, today denied a string of accusations by his former wife’s lawyers, including the allegation that there were many women in his life.
Testifiying in the Syariah High Court here in the “mutaah” (conciliatory gift) suit brought by Shahnaz Abdul Majid, he also denied that his father, Abdul Taib Mahmud, was the richest man in the world, as alleged by her lawyers.
Mahmud was queried on the names of friends who had reported to him that Shahnaz had instructed them to track his every movement. He said they included his driver and staff at their workplace, Sarawak Securities.
Mahmud was testifying before judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab. He was represented by Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din.
Lawyers acting for Shahnaz claimed that the “international conspiracy theory” expounded by Mahmud was a figment of his imagination.
In an earlier hearing, Mahmud testified that an international politically motivated conspiracy had evolved from his divorce maintenance hearings against him and his family, in particular, his father.
“What was supposed to be a private matter in divorce maintenance claims before the courts was blown up into an international attack and slander to change the political landscape of Sarawak,” he said in that hearing, citing attacks from Sarawak Report led by British political activist Clare Rewcastle.
In another earlier hearing, Mahmud said, “It saddens me that my divorce, which is painful enough for all, should have been hijacked by politicians and activists, and used to disseminate falsehoods under the cover of this respected court.”
As a result, he added, the attacks even continued into the Swiss Parliament where MPs had demanded that Swiss banks reveal his accounts following Shahnaz’s allegation of 111 purported offshore bank accounts.
On September 24 last year, following accusations by Swiss MP Carlo Sommaruga, the Swiss Attorney General informed the Bruno Manser Fund and the public that no members of the Taib family held assets with Swiss banks after 1999. Prior to this date, two family members had held Swiss accounts.
“The forged documents were obtained by my former wife and her team at a time when the fraudsters were running away from the arms of the law,” Mahmud said. “The fugitives took refuge at Turks and Caicos Islands in 2010 where they continued to dupe clients in an international scheme that involved bogus promises of offshore millions.
“The Canadian pair had fabricated astoundingly realistic-looking banking information that would lead one party to believe the other had millions of dollars in assets offshore.”
On April 1o last year, the two Canadians were extradited to the US from a Turks and Caicos prison on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and several charges of fraud valued at over US$1m. They have been indicted and jailed.
Shahnaz is claiming RM100 million for “mutaah”. She had also claimed in excess of RM121 million for child maintenance for their son Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud to include a terrace house in London (RM60 million), a residence in Bukit Tunku (RM10 million), two Aston Martins (RM5.5 million), medical insurance (RM5 million) and a private trust fund (RM40 million) to be held and managed by her.
Hearing continues 15 June 2015. – FMT