KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi intends to call in 43 defence witnesses to testify in his defence in his trial over 47 alleged corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences, his lawyer informed the High Court today.
Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh acknowledged that the defence team previously said it intends to call 20 defence witnesses, but said that the number of defence witnesses that may be call has gone up.
He said this was because Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers had interviewed the potential witnesses and that witnesses would also mention other individuals.
“As of now, we are staring at 43, but it may be increased as well,” he said. “Witnesses come and tell other names, so these are what we call the dynamics.”
The prosecution today concluded its cross-examination of Ahmad Zahid, who is the first defence witness testifying in his own defence.
The trial resumes next Monday, with Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers expected to re-examine him before he concludes his testimony.
Ahmad Zahid is standing trial on 47 charges, namely 12 of them for criminal breach of trust in relation to more than RM31 million of charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges over RM21.25 million of alleged bribes.
The trial is being heard by High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.