Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial to commence on July 8

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured leaving the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex February 21, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured leaving the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex February 21, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The trial of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 47 charges of corruption and money laundering involving millions of ringgit belonging to the Akalbudi Foundation, has been fixed for July 8 at the High Court.

High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed the date and set 18 days for the trial after the former deputy prime minister maintained his not guilty plea when the charges were read out to him at the High Court during the first mention of the case, here today.

Justice Collin fixed the trial for July 8-11, July 15-17, Aug 5-8, Aug 19-22 and Sept 10-12.

The court also fixed May 9 for case management for submission of documents under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor,  Raja Rozela Raja Toran informed that the prosecution had submitted more than 800 documents pertaining to the case to the defence team. Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik represented Ahmad Zahid.

Asked by Justice Collin on how many more documents were there to be handed over, Raja Rozela said: “There are a few more.”

Raja Rozela also informed that the prosecution would call 20 witnesses to testify at the trial.

Hisyam also informed the court that the defence would file one or two applications regarding the case.

On Feb 21, the High Court allowed Ahmad Zahid’s application to transfer his case from the Sessions Court to the High Court as the prosecution did not object to the application.

On Oct 19 and Dec 14 last year, the Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament pleaded not guilty to a total of 46 charges, comprising 12 charges of CBT, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Ahmad Zahid, 66, had allegedly used the funds to make six payments for personal credit cards, insurance policy and licence for his personal vehicles, remittances to a law firm and contributions to the Royal Malaysia Police football association

The offences under Section 409 of the Penal Code was allegedly committed at the same bank between Jan 13, 2014 and Jan 11, 2016.

Ahmad Zahid was also charged with eight counts of bribery, where he was alleged to have accepted bribes from three companies, namely Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, Data Sonic Group Bhd and Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd as an inducement for him, in his capacity as then Home Minister, to help the companies to obtain MyEG projects, supply passport chips and to be appointed the operator of migrant visa one-stop centres in Pakistan and Nepal respectively.

The charges were made under Section 16(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Ahmad Zahid, also faced 27 charges of money-laundering by engaging in direct transactions involving income from illegal activities between 2016 and 2018.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, for which the penalty upon conviction, provided under Section 4(1) of the same act, is a maximum 15-year jail term and a fine of up to five times of the income from the illegal activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if convicted. — Bernama