Defence asks AG to speed up decision on representation

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in the trial of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has requested the Attorney-General to speed up the decision on the representation to review the 47 charges faced by the Deputy Prime Minister involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds.

According to a press statement issued by Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, and Hamidi Mohd Noh, the decision on representation must be made immediately before more defence witnesses are called to testify in order to save both parties money and time.

“The defence had submitted representation letters with more than 200 pages on Dec 8, 2022, and Jan 25, 2023, to the prosecution, in which it was also requested that justice be given to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and all charges be reviewed in the case.

“As of today, the defence has not received any response from the Attorney-General. Our client has also had his statement recorded again after the representation was sent to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in June 2023,” said the statement.

The defence team said it was normal for any individual facing a criminal case to submit a representation to the AG, and it was the right of the accused to do so.

It mentioned the representation could be entered at any time if the accused had a strong basis and if there were many flaws found in the charges filed, the investigation, or witness statements.

“Therefore, it is unfair for any party to intervene and politicise this issue. Furthermore, our client is accused of exercising his right to include representation at this stage.

“We believe the defence’s move to file for representation is based on the client’s rights according to the legal process practised in this country,” read the statement.

Therefore, the defence team said any party should not misuse the facts of the representation for political gain or scare the public by giving a bad impression of the representation.

“Accordingly, our party will take legal action against any party that prejudices the rights of our client in practising his right to this representation.”

Among the issues raised by the three lawyers in their representation was that there was an element of political persecution involved in the case by the then-attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, and that the attorney-general was appointed by the then-prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, allegedly to prosecute Ahmad Zahid.

“The charges were made because our client refused to disband UMNO, which eventually led to him being accused.”

The case trial is now at the defence stage. The defence has called 15 witnesses, including Ahmad Zahid, to testify. — Bernama

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