According to Malaysiakini, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s lawyer submitted yesterday (6 Sept) that the Umno president should be immune from prosecution because he cooperated with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when it investigated him.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the High Court that 46 of the 47 criminal charges against his client should be dropped in accordance with Section 30(7) of the MACC Act.
The section has been repealed, but Hisyam argued that at the material time when Zahid gave his cooperation to the MACC, it was in place and that the provision should apply to him now.
Section 30 (7) states that any person who discloses any information to the MACC shall not be prosecuted unless he makes a false or misleading statement.
Hisyam claimed that Zahid was transparent with the MACC and had given the agency details of the setting up of the former deputy premier’s family-run foundation, Yayasan Akalbudi, and the source of its funding.
Submitting at the end of the prosecution’s case, Hisyam said no prima facie case had been established against his client and that the charges were “empty shells”.
Insisting that this was a case of “over-prosecution”, Hisyam said former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas had unfairly levelled the 47 charges against his client. He also argued that it is not in the public interest when an accused person is unnecessarily or wrongly charged.
“It eats up judicial time. In fact, it is an abuse of process. This honourable court must sound the alarm that judicial time is precious and cannot be abused. To the accused irreparable harm has been done. It is inherent in the office of the public prosecutor that he acts fairly for he is a minister of justice. The public prosecutor must be fair to the accused,” he said.
ICYMI, Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 on criminal breach of trust, eight on corruption and 27 on money laundering-involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.