Charges Against Zahid Not Politically Motivated Says Witness
The prosecution has wrapped up its case against former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today. (Bernama pic)KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer denied that criminal charges filed against Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the 14th general election in May 2018 were “politically motivated”.
Investigating officer Khairudin Kilau told the High Court that the charges he recommended the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to file against the former deputy prime minister were based on documentary and witnesses’ evidence gathered during his probe.
“I do not agree that the charges were filed because there was a change in government,” he said, in response to lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, at Zahid’s corruption trial today.
Zahid is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds, money laundering as well as accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister under the Barisan Nasional administration.
Hisyam then asked the officer whether all 47 charges, including the 12 CBT cases that Khairudin handled, were “baseless”.
The lawyer pointed out that Zahid was taken to the sessions court to face charges on Oct 19, 2018 after he was elected as Umno president.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi objected to the line of questioning, citing the questions were deemed “scandalous”.
In response, Hisyam said: “I have to put my defence case forward to the prosecution witness.”
Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the lawyer to proceed with the question as it was related to their defence.
Hisyam: Do you agree that a man’s reputation will be damaged after criminal charges were preferred against him?
The officer, however, agreed to Hisyam’s suggestion that Zahid was “the first politician to face 47 charges” after the change in government.
During re-examination by the prosecution, Khairudin told the court that Zahid had never informed MACC on how much he contributed to Yayasan Akalbudi since it was incorporated until 2018.
“He never showed us any documents on how much he contributed,” he said.
The witness also said a sum of RM1.3 million was channeled to Persatuan Bola Sepak PDRM from Zahid’s foundation in 2015.
“I did not find any evidence to show the RM1.3 million was a ‘loan’ to Persatuan Bola Sepak PDRM as claimed by the defence,” Khairudin added.
Prosecution wraps up its case
Meanwhile, following the cross-examination the prosecution wrapped up its case against Zahid.
Zahid’s trial started on Nov 18, 2019 and was heard for 52 days over a period of two years.
Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran told Sequerah the prosecution had summoned 99 witnesses to testify.
“The prosecution now rests its case.
“We are now offering 37 witnesses to the defence in the event the accused is called to defend the charges,” she said.
Among the witnesses offered to the defence were Zahid’s wife Hamidah Khamis, daughter Nurulhidayah, brother Mohamad Nasaee, businessman Khalid Jiwa and other former government officials.
Hisyam said the defence needed about two months to prepare submissions while Raja Rozela said the prosecution would need about one month to prepare.
Sequerah ordered the defence and prosecution to file in their written submissions before May 28 and their replies by June 11.
Both parties will return to the court for oral submissions from June 28 to July 2.
“I will leave the court’s decision date open until I’ve heard submissions from both sides,” Sequerah said. - FMT
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