Zahid ordered to enter defence on all 47 charges
Published on: Monday, January 24, 2022
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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is accused of 47 charges of money laundering and CBT involving funds from Yayasan Akalbudi, and accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister.
Kuala Lumpur: The High Court has ordered former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to enter his defence on all 47 of his corruption, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering charges.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against Zahid.

“After conducting maximum evaluation, I find that the prosecution has proven the ingredients of the CBT, MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) Act and money laundering charges,” he said.

Zahid is standing trial on charges of money laundering and CBT involving millions from Yayasan Akalbudi, and accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister.

Twelve of the charges are for CBT, eight for corruption and the remainder for money laundering.

A total of 99 witnesses have testified in the trial, which began on Nov 18, 2019.

Sequerah said Zahid has three options to conduct his defence – he can opt to give a sworn statement from the witness stand, he can give a statement from the dock, or he can remain silent

Zahid’s lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh, told the court that his client will give a sworn statement.

The hearing for the defence stage is scheduled to start on March 28.

Sequerah said Zahid is not entitled to enjoy “immunity” from prosecution on grounds that he truthfully disclosed all transactions related to Yayasan Akalbudi.

“After considering the submissions, I find that there is no merit to this, and the accused is not entitled for immunity,” he said.

Previously, Zahid’s lawyers had argued that he should enjoy immunity under Section 30(7) of the MACC Act. The provision, which was repealed on Oct 1, 2018, had stated that anyone who disclosed information or produced any document to the authorities would not be incriminated.

The defence had contended that MACC officers recorded Zahid’s statement between July 2 and 3, 2018, in which he gave details on the setting up of the foundation, its sources of funds, and personal particulars of himself and family members.

However, the prosecution argued that the “immunity” raised by Zahid was an attempt to strike out all the charges.

It said Zahid should have filed for a judicial review before the civil courts to determine if he enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

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