Awema: Naz Malik life assurance 'part of pension deal'

Naz Malik gave evidence at Swansea Crown Court

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A former race equality chief has told his fraud trial he was "entitled" to take out a life assurance policy for his wife as part of his pension policy.

Naz Malik, 65, denied swindling around £15,000 from the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema).

He is accused of using charity funds to pay for £3,500 life assurance, which would have seen his wife Bronwen get £120,000 in the event of his death.

Swansea Crown Court has heard Mr Malik denies three charges of fraud.

Awema distributed public money to projects across Wales in order to promote equality and diversity.

The charity folded in 2012 after its funding was withdrawn after claims of financial mismanagement, the court heard.

It is alleged Mr Malik claimed expenses for four Wales rugby tickets, cat litter and pet food and took money from the organisation to clear more than £11,000 in credit card debts.

Trustees

Mr Malik told the jury on Wednesday he was promised a pension scheme when he joined the charity as chief executive.

He said a decision on the issue was being constantly deferred by the charity's trustees.

However at a meeting in January 2008, he felt he was given the go-ahead and a few weeks later he took out a death-in-service life cover insurance policy to be funded from Awema accounts.

Mr Malik told the court the policy was to be part of a future pension scheme.

'Entitled'

The prosecution claims Mr Malik was not authorised to take out the policy and that he behaved dishonestly in doing so.

Peter Griffiths QC, defending, asked his client if he believed he was entitled to take out the policy.

Mr Malik replied: "I believed I was entitled."

The trial continues.

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