Prosecution closes case after calling 99 witnesses.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court today was told that all 47 corruption, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering charges faced by Dr Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi involving millions in funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi were not politically motivated or meant to tarnish the reputation of the former deputy prime minister.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Khairudin Kilau, 44, said MACC’s recommendation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to prosecute Zahid on all those charges was based on evidence obtained from witnesses and documents.
He said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran on the 55th day of Zahid’s trial.
Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik suggested this while cross-examining Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator Khairudin Kilau.
Khairudin was testifying as the 99th and final prosecution witness in Zahid’s trial, where the former deputy prime minister is facing 47 charges involving alleged criminal breach of trust of Zahid-linked charity Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, alleged receiving of bribes and alleged money-laundering.
Hisyam suggested that all the 47 charges against Zahid had no basis in fact or in law, but Khairudin disagreed.
The MACC investigator also further disagreed when Hisyam sought to suggest that the criminal charges against Zahid were due to a change in government in Malaysia.
Hisyam: Agree or not when I say all 47 charges were initiated when there was a regime change?
Hisyam: Agree or not that all these charges were presented when Pakatan Harapan formed government.
Hisyam then sought to suggest that the charges against Zahid were politically-motivated but this was met with objection from deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi who said the question was “scandalous” as there was nothing political in the charges.
Khairudin also disagreed that Zahid was charged with the 47 charges because of his position as the Umno president.
Having worked with the MACC for around 20 years as an investigator since December 1999 after joining the organisation then known as the Anti-Corruption Agency, Khairudin agreed that this was the “first time” he had known of 47 charges being brought against a politician after a regime change.
Hisyam had asked: “In the 20 years, did you see or read from anywhere of a politician, after the government was changed, having been charged with 47 charges”, with Khairudin replying: “In my knowledge, no.”
Raja Rozela then asked Khairudin what was the basis of the charges recommended by him as an MACC investigator to the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Zahid’s case.
“My Lord, the recommendations of investigating officers in recommending for a case to be prosecuted is based on evidence through witnesses’ testimonies and documentary evidence, it’s not based on politics or other matters,” Khairudin said.
In this trial, Zahid is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.
The prosecution today closed its case, after 53 days of court proceedings since the trial started on November 18, 2019.
The High Court then fixed June 28, 29, 30 and July 1 and 2 for both the prosecution and Zahid’s lawyers to present their submissions before a decision is made by the court on whether Zahid would have to enter his defence or can be released from the charges.
Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Four
Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Three
Nov 19, Zahid’s Trial: Day Two