Crime & Courts

Zahid's Yayasan Akalbudi trial postponed to January

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's corruption trial for misappropriating funds from his foundation Yayasan Akalbudi will resume in January.

High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah vacated the remaining four days of Zahid's trial this month pending his appeal at the Court of Appeal (CoA).

Sequerah made the ruling after Zahid's lead counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik applied to the court to vacate the hearing today and tomorrow as well as on Nov 9 and Nov 10, pending the outcome of the Nov 14 appeal.

The appeal is on Zahid's application to obtain recorded statements of 15 witnesses from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) involved in his trial.

Hisyam said the CoA has fixed their interlocutory appeal hearing to commence on Nov 14.

"The decision at the COA will help us to determine the number and sequence of witnesses.

"There are quite a number of witnesses being offered to the defence which we will focus upon.

"But we will need guidance from the Court of Appeal with regards to whether we are able to get their statements or otherwise.

"So we are in a dilemma. In the name of fairness, we ask the court to wait for the outcome of Nov 14," he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob did not object to the application.

Sequerah then adjourned the proceedings and the trial will resume between January and May next year.

The new trial dates are Jan 16 to Jan 19; Jan 30 to Jan 31; Feb 7 to Feb 9; March 27 to March 30; April 10 to April 13; and May 15 to May 18.

Zahid, 69, is facing 47 charges, including 12 for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving RM31 million of YAB funds.

For the 12 CBT charges, Zahid is alleged to have used the funds to make payments for personal credit cards, insurance policies and licences for his personal vehicles, remittances to a law firm and contributions to the police football association.

The charge carries a maximum of 20 years' jail, whipping and a fine.

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