KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Accused of corruption and other criminal offences, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will now be able to travel to Germany to treat his neck and back pain, after two courts agreed to release his passport for about four weeks until November 21.
The High Court here this afternoon granted the Umno president’s application for the temporary return of the travel document so he can seek medical treatment abroad.
“So the application is allowed with the condition of extra surety for the bail. And also just to clarify that the purpose is for the operation, the surgery and it is confined to Germany alone,” judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah said in his ruling.
Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers had applied for the passport to be released from October 26 to November 21. This was the application approved.
Sequerah is also the same judge hearing Ahmad Zahid’s trial involving 47 criminal 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 application was first made in the High Court here last week and the prosecution had said then that it had no objections.
During the hearing then, Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers 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.
Before Sequerah gave his decision today, deputy public prosecutor Gan Peng Kun today again confirmed that the prosecution is not objecting to the application.
Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh had also told the judge that his defence could immediately produce the additional surety or bailor, saying that this was Ahmad Zahid’s “friend who’s always been with him since the start of the trial”.
The businessman then stepped forward inside the courtroom to be identified as the extra surety, before the judge allowed Ahmad Zahid’s request for the temporary passport return.
With the addition of this surety, there would be two sureties in this trial that Ahmad Zahid is facing.
A separate High Court in Shah Alam — which is hearing a separate trial involving Ahmad Zahid’s 40 corruption charges — this morning granted permission to a similar application for his impounded passport to be returned from October 26 to November 21 so he can go to Germany for medical treatment.
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.
Ahmad Zahid surrendered his passport to the courts when he was first charged in October 2018.
This is not the first time the Bagan Datuk MP has applied for the temporary release of his passport.
In 2019, Ahmad Zahid asked the courts to return it to him so he could go to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage known as umrah, between May 9 and June 3.
Back then, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur rejected the application, saying the trip was not compulsory and highlighted the fact that Ahmad Zahid was facing serious charges.
He appealed twice and was shot down both times. First, the Court of Appeal dismissed the application on May 14, 2019 and the Federal Court again on May 23, 2019.