KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was released from custody at about 12.50pm today, after paying the first instalment of his RM2 million bail imposed by the Sessions Court.
The former deputy prime minister departed the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in a white Toyota Lexus SUV without responding to questions from journalists, though he waved goodbye while being ringed by police officers to his car.
The Umno president made a brief stop outside the front gates of the court complex to address his 200-plus supporters dressed in red waiting to see him, some since 6.30am.
Ahmad Zahid said he accepted the charges laid against him and considered it a test from God.
“I will use the court as the best place to defend myself against all the charges but also a chance for me to explain in detail,” he said briefly from inside the Lexus.
He said he would leave it to Allah to determine the good deeds he had performed in the name of Islam, regardless of the difference of opinions in society.
Now the leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Ahmad Zahid had earlier pleaded not guilty to each charge of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering under the Penal Code, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, and Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 respectively.
Among the 45 charges against Ahmad Zahid, it included eight charges for accepting bribes totalling RM21.25 million during his tenure as former Home Affairs minister from May 2013 to May 2018.
He has to pay the remaining RM1 million of the bail by October 26.
The court also set December 14 for the mention of his case.
Today’s indictment was the second against an Umno leader and the former ruling Barisan Nasional after its shock defeat in the May 9 general election.
Ahmad Zahid’s Umno predecessor and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is facing a total of 32 charges of money laundering, bribery and criminal breach of trust over funds linked to sovereign investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.