Hearing on June 27 for Zahid’s case

M’sian Bar challenges AG’s decision to halt prosecution

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed June 27 to decide on a leave application by the Malaysian Bar to challenge the Attorney General’s decision to halt its prosecution against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Yayasan Akalbudi graft case.

Justice Amarjeet Singh also fixed the same date to decide on the Bar’s application to refer three constitutional questions over the same matter to the Federal Court for determination.

Earlier, lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who represented the Bar, submitted that the applicant has locus standi to file a judicial review application.

“This is not a matter of the Malaysian Bar being a ‘busybody’ or meddling in the private affairs of an individual.

“It pertains to charges brought against an individual who previously held public office (including as deputy prime minister and Home minister, up to 2018) and against whom charges were dropped upon his reappointment to public office (as Deputy Prime Minister in 2022),” she said here yesterday.

Ambiga also submitted that the decision to apply for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for the second respondent (Ahmad Zahid) was illegal and contrary to the decision of the High Court.

She said the High Court on Jan 24, 2022, held that a prima facie case against the second respondent was established and ordered the second respondent to enter his defence to the 47 charges against him.

Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who represented the AG, however countered that the Bar had failed to prove that the decision by the AG was tainted with illegality as well as the Bar’s claims not being substantiated with compelling evidence.

Shamsul said the AG acted well within his prosecutorial discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution which states that he can institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik argued that the Bar’s application was already academic in light of the decision of the High Court to allow the order for a DNAA.

“The applicant (Bar) has no locus standi to file this application. In short, the applicant is a mere busybody and not adversely affected by the decision to apply for a DNAA.

“The applicant has also clearly failed to prove, among others, its locus standi in filing the application.

“Therefore, the leave application should be dismissed by this court,” he said.

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