Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on December 6, 2021. — Photo by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, January 23 – The decision on whether Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be acquitted or sentenced to defend himself on 47 criminal charges of breach of trust (CBT), bribery and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds ( YAB), will be known tomorrow.

High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is due to deliver his decision at the end of the prosecution case at 9.30am.

If the court decides in favor of the prosecution that there is a prima facie case against Ahmad Zahid, 68, then he will be called upon to present his defense, but if the judge decides otherwise, Ahmad Zahid will be acquitted and dismissed.

On December 6, Judge Sequerah set the date after hearing submissions from Deputy Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran and lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Hamidi Mohd Noh who represent the former Deputy Prime Minister.

The hearing for submissions has lasted 24 days since September 6 last year.

On March 19, 2021, the prosecution closed its case after calling 99 witnesses, including Ahmad Zahid’s former special officer, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar; law firm Lewis & Co partner B. Muralidharan, money changer Omar Ali Abdullah and former executive secretary of Ahmad Zahid, Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly. The trial began on November 18, 2019.

Ahmad Zahid had pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of CBT, eight counts of bribery and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

For the CBT charges, Ahmad Zahid allegedly used the funds to make six payments for the use of his personal credit cards, insurance policy and license for his personal vehicles, installments to a law firm, and contributions to the Royal Malaysia Police Football Association.

The offenses were allegedly committed at the Affin Bank Berhad branch at Jalan Bunus, off Jalan Masjid, India, here, between January 13, 2014 and December 23, 2016. The charges, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provide for a prison sentence of between two and 20 years, and with whipping, and fine, on conviction.

Ahmad Zahid was also charged with eight counts of corruption, where he allegedly accepted bribes from three companies, namely Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, Data Sonic Group Bhd and Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd as inducement for him, in his capacity as Minister of Home Affairs went on to help companies obtain MyEG projects, provide passport chips and be appointed operator of One Stop Migrant Visa Centers in Pakistan and Nepal respectively.

He was charged with committing the offences, framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, at the Maybank branch of Dataran Maybank at Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, here, between July 15, 2016 and March 15, 2018.

The Bagan MP Datuk also faced 27 charges of money laundering by engaging in direct transactions involving proceeds from illegal activities between March 29, 2016 and April 11, 2018.

All offenses were allegedly committed at Malayan Banking Berhad, Dataran Maybank Branch, Tier 1, Tower A, No. 1 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar and Marhaba Enterprise Sdn Bhd, LG 1.15, Fahrenheit88, 179 Jalan Bukit Bintang, here between March 29 2016 and April 11, 2018.

Ahmad Zahid also faced 40 charges in the Shah Alam Sessions Court for accepting bribes from a company over the overseas visa system, bringing the total of charges against him at 87. The case is set for a continuing hearing on Feb. 3. — Bernama