No fair trial if witness statement rejected, says Teh

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has been told that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would be deprived of a fair trial if his press secretary’s witness statement was not accepted in its totality.

Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik argued that parts of the witness statement of Mejar-Jen (R) Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican – which touched on the credibility of Ahmad Zahid’s former executive secretary Mejar Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly – should be accepted by the court as it was relevant to challenge the testimony of Mejar Mazlina, who is a prosecution witness.

Hisyam said the testimony of the second defence witness (Fadzlette) was important to show that Mejar Mazlina was careless and disobeyed instructions when handling Ahmad Zahid’s private account.

“If the court accepts the prosecution’s submission (to omit parts of Fadzlette’s statement), Ahmad Zahid would not be able to put up an effective defence, and this would deny him a fair trial as guaranteed under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution,” Hisyam said in his submission at Ahmad Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) trial here yesterday.Meanwhile, the prosecution reiterated that the court should reject parts of Fadzlette’s witness statement as they were inadmissible.

“The defence is attempting to bring Fadzlette to give the impression that Mazlina is a lousy witness,” said deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran.

On Monday, Raja Rozela objected to parts of Fadzlette’s witness statement (paragraphs 16 to 30), saying the statements were put in to damage the character of Mejar Mazlina.

“But Mejar Mazlina’s credibility had already been challenged during the defence’s cross-examination,” the prosecutor had said.

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah will give his decision on the matter today.

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