The Kuala Lumpur High Court today allowed the application by former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the release of his passport to perform the umrah pilgrimage.
High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted the Umno president’s application after lead prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the prosecution had received instructions not to object to the application.
She said as the dates on which Zahid needed to perform the umrah clashed with the trial dates of April 26 to 28, the vacated days should be replaced with new dates.
Earlier, Zahid’s lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the defence hoped his client’s passport would be released today as he needed it for his visa application.
“My client will be away from April 21 to 30, and pledges that the passport will be returned before May 5,” he said.
Sequerah then fixed April 13 and 15 as well as July 1 as the substitute dates for the trial.
Before this, the court had fixed May 23 to 26, June 27 to 30, July 4 to 7, Aug 22, 23, 29 and 30, Sept 19 to 22 and 26 to 29, Oct 17 to 20 and 31, and Nov 1 to 3 and 7 to 10 for the trial.
On April 13, Zahid will testify in his defence trial for 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving Akalbudi Foundation funds.
On Jan 24 this year, Sequerah ordered Zahid to enter his defence on all charges after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case.
In October last year, the High Court also allowed the temporary return of his impounded passport to enable him to seek medical treatment from a leading specialist in Munich, Germany for back and neck pain.