KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's lawyers today urged Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to speed up the decision on their client's application for all his 47 charges in the Yayasan Akalbudi trial to be reviewed, before the trial continues further with Zahid calling in more defence witnesses.

In a joint statement issued by Zahid's lawyers, they said Zahid's legal team had submitted representations on December 8, 2022 and January 25 this year with over 200 pages to the prosecution, with the representations aimed at — among other things — asking for “justice” for Zahid and for all the 47 charges in this case to be reviewed.

“Until today, the defence has not received any answer from the attorney-general. Therefore, the defence requests for the decision on this representation to be expedited before the defence calls in more defence witnesses for this trial.

“The answer to this representation is needed immediately to ensure costs and time can be saved for both sides,” Zahid's lawyers Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hamidi Mohd Noh said in the statement.


The three lawyers also said Zahid also had his statement recorded again by the MACC in June this year.

So far, 15 defence witnesses — including Zahid himself — have testified in the trial. Hamidi had earlier this week told the High Court that the defence plans to call in a total of 32 defence witnesses. This means there would be 17 more to be called.

Accused persons can typically send in representation letters to the attorney-general for purposes such as to seek the dropping of charges or to ask for alternative charges with lower penalties.


The three lawyers said Zahid is only exercising his right as an accused to put in representations to the attorney-general, and warned against anyone who try to give a bad impression on the representation.

“Anyone should not use the fact of this representation for political interests, or to scare the public by giving a bad impression towards that representation. We will take legal action against anyone who prejudices the right of our client in practising his right for this representation,” the lawyers said.

Earlier in the same statement, Zahid's lawyers said the issues raised in the representation to the attorney-general include issues previously raised in the trial as well as “new evidence” which Zahid's legal team obtained while preparing before and during the defence stage of the trial.

“As these issues raised are still being studied by the investigators and the prosecution, we cannot give more specific details on the content,” the lawyers said regarding the content of Zahid's representation to the attorney-general.

But the lawyers said the topics that were raised to the attorney-general generally include five matters, including their claim that the prosecution by then attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in this case was “political” in nature.

Their allegation was that then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had appointed the attorney-general to prosecute Zahid; and that the prosecution against Zahid was allegedly due to his refusal to dissolve Umno.

The other topics that the lawyers listed were their claim that a “defective investigation” had been carried out due to the short investigation period of just four months due to the alleged haste to charge Zahid, and that there are allegedly new and solid evidence for the representation. Zahid's lawyers also stressed that it is normal for anyone who is facing criminal cases to submit representations to the attorney-general and that it is the right of accused persons to do so.

“That representation can be submitted at any time and at any stage, if someone who is accused has strong basis and there are many deviations in the prosecution against him including if there were misuse of powers in prosecuting, investigation issues, evidence of witnesses in the case and so on.

“Therefore, we believe it is very unfair for anyone to try to interfere and politicise this issue. Furthermore, our client is an accused who is now carrying out his right to enter representation at this stage,” the lawyers said.

They added that the move to put in representations at this stage is based on Zahid’s right to carry out measures according to the legal process as contained in the legal system in Malaysia.

Zahid, who is also Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman, was charged with 47 charges in late 2018 and early 2019 in this case, with his trial having started on November 18, 2019.

After 99 prosecution witnesses testified in the trial, the High Court on January 24, 2022 ordered Zahid to enter defence on all 47 charges. Zahid was the first defence witness in April 2022 and the trial has been going on since then.

The 47 charges are namely, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to over RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges of over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.

Yayasan Akalbudi was founded with the purported objectives of receiving and administering funds for the eradication of poverty and enhancing the welfare of the poor.

Following testimony by the 13th to 15th defence witnesses this morning, Zahid's trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is scheduled to resume on September 4.

The other hearing dates scheduled for the trial are September 5 to 7, October 31, November 1, November 17, November 20 to 24, November 27 to 29, December 4 to 7 and December 11 to 15.

Idrus was first appointed on March 6, 2020 to be attorney general for a two-year term when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the prime minister, with his tenure extended in 2022 for another year when Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was prime minister.

Idrus's tenure was extended for another six months from March 6 this year, which means his tenure as attorney-general will end in early September unless it is further extended.