Zahid under home quarantine, trial postponed again

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is facing 12 charges of CBT, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering, totalling RM117 million.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption trial in the High Court here has been postponed again as he has been served with an order to remain at home after coming in close contact with a person who tested positive with Covid -19.

“It is better to err in caution because it involves health issues,” said trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah in allowing the adjournment application by lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh this morning.

The next hearing is on Oct 12.

Hamidi said his client was issued the three-day home surveillance order on Saturday by health ministry officials.

“A swab test was taken and it turned out to be negative,” he told the court, adding that the second RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test would be done today.

He said the test results were expected tomorrow.

The lawyer urged the hearing scheduled from today to Wednesday be postponed as the incubation period (the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset) for Covid-19 was 14 days.

He said it was better to take extra precaution as there were other defence lawyers, deputy public prosecutors (DPPs), court staff and the public in the courtroom.

DPP Raja Rozela Raja Toran did not object to the postponement.

Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan had confirmed on Sept 23 he tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from Sabah, and Zahid was said to be in contact with him.

The trial was vacated last Monday as Zahid was said to be campaigning in Sabah together with Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Razlan Rafii two weeks ago.

He went through similar tests last week and was cleared.

Zahid is facing 12 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering, totalling RM117 million.