High Court grants Zahid discharge not amounting to acquittal in YAB case

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) against deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for all 47 graft charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah in his judgement said the extended time needed for investigation was justifiable as the representations submitted by the defence had taken up hundreds of pages for examinations by the prosecution.

“It is therefore justified for the prosecution to examine these representations which also involved talking statements from various individuals,” he said on Monday (Sept 4).

Earlier, the prosecution has applied for Ahmad Zahid to be discharged but not acquitted as further investigations are still needed for the case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar listed 11 reasons for it; these include ensuring no miscarriage of justice is committed and to make way for more comprehensive investigations by the authorities.

He also said the defence had submitted several representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers on Dec 8 last year and Jan 25; and again on Feb 28 and March 7.

Mohd Dusuki also said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is still investigating the case after Ahmad Zahid made representations.

He also said the DNAA is in view of the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) formed to look into claims in former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ controversial memoir, particularly on alleged selective prosecution.

Ahmad Zahid’s counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik argued for a full discharge instead, saying that further delay would be unfair for his client.

Hisyam Teh argued there was no timeline set on the conclusion of the investigation by the MACC as well as the setting up and conclusion of the RCI.

Justice Sequerah in his judgement added that the court is placing the DNAA order as the case has been ongoing for 77 days involving 99 prosecution witnesses and 15 defence witnesses had come forward.

He said the powers exercised by the AGC under the Article 145 of the Federal Constitution and Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code to destitute or withdraw charges at any time before judgement is unquestioned.

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