Zahid Fails to Reduce CBT Charges

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The High Court yesterday dismissed an application by former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to merge his 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges to only three over funds from his family-run foundation Yayasan Akal Budi.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the decision after finding that the present 12 charges against Ahmad Zahid are clear and the accused could understand them for preparing his defence, thus not raising any issue of prejudice.

“Moreover, Section 153 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) does not make it mandatory for the prosecution to combine the charges,” he said during case management yesterday.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran appeared for the prosecution while counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik was representing Ahmad Zahid, 66, who was present in court.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

Raja Rozela told reporters that the accused had filed an application to challenge the constitutionality of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, and the court fixed Nov 18 to hear the application.

In her submission earlier yesterday, Raja Rozela said this was a delay tactic adopted by the defence to stall the trial scheduled for Nov 18.

The prosecution is expected to produce about 60 witnesses.

On Oct 19 and Dec 14, 2018, as well as Feb 20 this year, Ahmad Zahid had pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

He was granted bail of RM2 million with one surety and was ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

Later, Raja Rozela told reporters that Zahid had filed an application to challenge the constitutionality of a number of provisions in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

She said the application was filed in late October.

Sequerah has fixed Nov 18 to hear the application and ordered the prosecution and defence to file in their submissions on Nov 15.