KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The High Court in Shah Alam today allowed former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to get back his impounded passport so he can travel to Germany for medical treatment.
Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa, who is the judge hearing Ahmad Zahid’s trial involving 40 corruption charges, allowed Ahmad Zahid’s application for the temporary release of the passport.
The court ruling was confirmed by Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Utusan Malaysia reported.
However, the defence lawyer was also reported to have indicated that the permission to travel abroad would be subject to another similar application made to the High Court in Kuala Lumpur that will be decided this afternoon.
Ahmad Zaidi was quoted saying that there would be no disruption to the scheduled hearing dates for Ahmad Zahid’s case in Shah Alam as the trip is planned for after the trial.
Based on information from Ahmad Zahid’s legal team, Malay Mail understands that the High Court in Shah Alam allowed the temporary release of the passport from October 26 to November 21. This was the same period sought by his lawyers.
Malay Mail understands that Ahmad Zaidi made the application this morning in the High Court in Shah Alam, with the application being for the passport release from October 26 to November 21 for Ahmad Zahid to receive treatment in Germany.
Ahmad Zahid’s legal team confirmed to Malay Mail that the prosecution did not object to the application in the High Court in Shah Alam for the passport’s temporary release.
Apart from Ahmad Zaidi, Malay Mail understands that Ahmad Zahid was also represented by lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh at the High Court in Shah Alam.
Last Thursday, Hamidi had in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur applied for the temporary release of the passport, explaining that his client Ahmad Zahid had been suffering from neck pain and back pain.
Hamidi had told the court that the current pain intervention treatment available in Malaysia is insufficient to treat his client who is still “suffering a lot”, and that he needs to seek treatment from a leading specialist in Munich, Germany.
The prosecution had not objected to the application at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur for the passport’s temporary release from October 26 to November 21.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is expected to decide on the application for the passport release this afternoon, before continuing to hear Ahmad Zahid’s trial involving 47 criminal charges.
In Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Zahid is being tried on 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.
Ahmad Zahid was reported to have suffered a fall on August 18, and was admitted to a private hospital on August 22 for treatment and discharged on August 26. He was also on medical leave until September 4.
On August 24 which was when Ahmad Zahid’s trial in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to continue, he was not present in court, with his lawyer explaining that he could not attend due to severe neck pain and could not sit for a long time.
Ahmad Zahid’s doctor on August 25 told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur that his client had on August 24 undergone treatment for his pain and disagreed that his client had faked his illness to avoid attending court.
Since Ahmad Zahid’s trial resumed on September 6 in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, the court has allowed short breaks at regular intervals throughout the day for each hearing date.
Ahmad Zahid’s passport had been surrendered to the courts since he was first charged in October 2018.
Back in 2019, Ahmad Zahid had also applied to the court for the temporary return of his passport to enable him to travel to Saudi Arabia between May 9 and June 3 to perform umrah or for a Muslim pilgrimage trip.
But the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on May 3, 2019 had rejected the application then as such a trip was not compulsory and as Ahmad Zahid was facing serious charges in the trial, with the Court of Appeal on May 14, 2019 and the Federal Court on May 23, 2019 also dismissing his appeals against the High Court’s decision.