DPP withdraws letter asking for Zahid’s case to be sped up

Pressure mounts: Ahmad Zahid at the KL High Court complex yesterday. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: After an outcry, the prosecution in Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s trial has withdrawn a letter urging the High Court to give priority to the Umno president’s case over Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.

Even the trial judge, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, who is also presiding over the IMDB case, was unhappy. No one could dictate what case should be given priority in his court, he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob informed Justice Sequerah that with the letter withdrawn, the matter was now considered over.

“As such, there is no such application before the court. Let us proceed with this case,” he said before the commencement of yesterday’s proceedings.

Ahmad Zahid’s lead counsel, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said the letter could be construed as applying pressure on the court, Bernama reported.

“We hope this trial will be conducted according to the rule of law,” he said.

In the 1MDB case, former prime minister Najib is charged with four counts of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The DPP’s letter to Justice Sequerah was sent to his secretary on Monday afternoon.

According to Abdul Malik, he was instructed to give priority to Ahmad Zahid’s case, which was at the defence stage, and a copy of the letter was extended to Ahmad Zahid’s defence team.

The letter went viral on social media on Monday, with some questioning the authenticity of the document.

Yesterday, the trial continued with Ahmad Zahid being re-examined by another of his lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh.

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

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