High Court urged to acquit Zahid, prosecutorial misconduct cited

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has been urged to acquit and discharge Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is accused of corruption involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB), as the charges against him were “politically motivated”.

In his submission, lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the defence registered its “strongest protest” against the prosecution for preferring the 27 money laundering charges against the Umno president.

“This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct or irresponsibility.

“There was absolutely no weighing or consideration of the evidence before pressing the charges against the accused,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

The submission from Hisyam heard in court yesterday was specifically on the 27 money laundering charges.

“It is a dark day for our criminal justice system. It is an abuse of process. It lends credence to the belief that the motivation for the prosecution was political and not based on law or evidence,” he argued.

The defence contended that the prosecution had failed to prove a key element required in the 27 money laundering charges – that the money came from illegal activities.

On Monday, Hisyam said a sum of RM5.9mil – which made part of the millions involved in the case – came from two contributors who came to testify at court, proving that the money did not come from illegal activities.

During the proceedings here yesterday, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah also asked the defence the million dollar question: why were donations from Yayasan Albukhary (YALB) to YAB made in cash stuffed in bags and not in cheques?

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to just write a cheque, why bring a bag full of cash?” the judge asked.

Hisyam said only YALB could answer the question.

“That is our complaint. The prosecution did not investigate. The answer can only come from YALB,” he said.

Hisyam added that the defence had asked the investigating officer but the officer did not carry out an investigation.

“Because there’s no investigation, we cannot say that these are proceeds from unlawful activities,” he added.

The hearing continues before Justice Sequerah today.

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