Zahid must come to court, so his appeal to challenge laws pushed to July

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is facing 47 charges of CBT, money laundering and corruption.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has rescheduled to July 7 to hear former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s appeal to challenge the constitutionality of provisions in two laws over admissibility of documentary evidence.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said today’s hearing was taken off due to the movement control order (MCO).

“In a criminal appeal, the appellant (Zahid) must be physically present in court and this is not possible under the current MCO,” he told FMT.

On Nov 18 last year, the High Court ruled that Zahid’s application to challenge provisions in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) was premature as the trial had yet to commence.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the ruling after allowing a preliminary objection raised by deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran.

Sequerah said he agreed with the prosecution that the application to challenge the constitutionality of Section 41A of the MACC Act and Section 71 of AMLA was premature because the trial had not started.

Zahid, who is Umno president, contends the two provisions were inconsistent with Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

He is facing a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Trial is still at the prosecution stage with 43 witnesses called to testify.

Hisyam said the Court of Appeal had also fixed on June 26 another appeal by Zahid to consolidate the 12 CBT charges to three.

“It was initially fixed on April 16 and was taken off the list as the MCO was still in force,” he added.

Raja Rozela said the next trial date would likely be fixed only after the MCO was lifted.

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