KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has been urged to acquit and discharge Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is accused of corruption involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB), saying that the charges against him are “politically motivated”.
In his submission, lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the defence registered its “strongest protest” against the prosecution for preferring the 27 money laundering charges against the Umno president.
“This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct or irresponsibility.
“There was absolutely no weighing or consideration of the evidence before pressing the charges against the accused,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The submission from Hisyam heard in court on Tuesday (Sept 14) was specifically on the 27 money laundering charges.
The defence contended that the prosecution had failed to prove a key element required in the 27 money laundering charges, that the money came from illegal activities.
On Monday (Sept 13), Hisyam argued that RM5.9mil – part of the millions involved in the case – came from two contributors who testified at court, proving that the money did not come from illegal activities.
During proceedings here on Tuesday, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah asked the defence why donations from Yayasan Albukhary (YALB) to YAB were made in cash stuffed in bags and not in cheques?
“Wouldn’t it have been easier to just write a cheque, why bring a bag full of cash?” the judge said.
Hisyam said only YALB could answer the question.
“That is our complaint. The prosecution did not investigate. The answer can only come from YALB,” he said.
Hisyam added that the defence had asked the investigating officer but the officer did not carry out an investigation.
“Because there’s no investigation, we cannot say that these are proceeds from unlawful activity.
“Unless and until they investigate, unless and until they call a witness from YALB before the court and give evidence,” he added.
The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah Wednesday (Sept 15).