High Court allows prosecution to impeach Ahmad Zahid's third defence witness

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has allowed the prosecution’s application to impeach the third defence witness in the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is accused of misappropriating millions from Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah said there were material discrepancies in the statement of Syarikat Pembinaan Teknik Sempurna Sdn Bhd director Jefri Jamil as he took the stand in the trial here on Thursday (Sept 22).

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Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran earlier applied to the court to impeach Jefri under Section 155(c) of the Evidence Act 1950 after she alleged the witness gave a contradicting testimony in court compared to the statement he gave to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2018.

Ahmad Zahid's lead counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik objected to the application on grounds that Jefri's statement to MACC was classified under the Official Secrets Act on March 2, 2021.

Hisyam said the prosecution should not be allowed to start the impeachment proceedings as the defence had earlier requested for the same document but it was rejected by the court as it was classified under the OSA.

ALSO READ: Zahid used RM17.9mil of Yayasan Akalbudi fixed deposits to finance daughter's hotel purchase bid, High Court told

The prosecution, however, contended that the two applications by the prosecution and the defence were on different matters.

Justice Sequerah said Section 155(c) did not allude to whether the documents were classified as official secrets or otherwise.

"So, the ruling of this court is that I will allow the proceedings to commence," the judge 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 YAB.

The hearing continues this afternoon.

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