Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s daughter was this morning reprimanded by justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah over her online posting on her father’s ongoing corruption case involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court judge also told the public not to post any comments on social media on the ongoing trial as it could amount to sub judice.
Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid, 42, had yesterday commented on her personal Instagram account on the accused’s entitlement to immunity and claimed that the prosecution had prejudiced against her father.
When the trial started at 9.25am today, deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran requested for Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Sequerah to prohibit such postings as it would be sub judice to the case.
“We ask the court to prohibit this author and all other would-be authors who want to make any comments about the proceedings.
“We take this very seriously. At this moment, I have not been instructed to initiate any contempt proceedings,” Raja Rozela said.
In response, Sequerah said that this was “hardly a small matter”.
“This court has to issue a warning of the sub judice nature (of the comment)…the comment shouldn’t be made while the trial is ongoing,” he said.
Lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh said that the team will ask the author to remove the posting according to the court’s will, adding that this was “way beyond our control”.
At the time of this writing, the post had been removed. Nurulhidayah posted an apology to the court instead, saying she should not have commented on the proceedings and promised not to repeat it.
Nurulhidayah’s caption, which said to be a copy of prosecution witness Rosni Zahari from Umno, stated that the prosecution had amended the provisions of Section 30(7) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act on October 1, 2018 to continue the case against her father.
This was in relation to what had happened in court on Monday.
Then, the defence had submitted that the former deputy prime minister should be granted immunity for having earlier disclosed information to the MACC.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik argued that Zahid had made two statements to the MACC on July 2 and July 3, 2018 and therefore protected under subsection 30(7) of the MACC Act.
This morning, Raja Rozela disputed Nurulhidayah’s posting, saying that she had made a baseless accusation.
“The author made a baseless accusation against the public prosecutor that implies that we purposely deleted subsection 7 just to get at the accused person,” Raja Rozela told the court.
“I believe my learned friend (Hisyam) never said that. This comment is baseless and is a blatant accusation.”
Raja Rozela also highlighted another comment by Nurulhidayah that stated: “The prosecution says there is no element of corruption and it is mere slander.”
Under the paragraph the post sighted by The Malaysian Insight continued with: “In conclusion, the prosecution witnesses are not in favour of the prosecution. Weird but true.”
Raja Rozela said this was another “blatant lie” and that Nurulhidayah was “ignorant of the law” because the prosecutor had not started on their submission.
Nurulhidayah was in court yesterday but was not present at this morning’s session.
On March 19, the prosecution closed the case after 53 days of trial calling 99 witnesses to testify.
Today is the third day of oral submissions by Zahid’s lawyers to present their final arguments before the court decides whether the Bagan Datuk MP should enter his defence.
Zahid, 68, is currently facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money-laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to the charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.
If convicted, the accused is liable to a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the bribe amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
The hearing continues. – TMI