Monday, July 4, 2022

Zahid was worried about his criminal cases, Mahathir says

The former prime minister says he had five meetings with the Umno president between June 2018 and February 2020.

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi voiced his concern at several meetings over the criminal cases filed against the former deputy prime minister.

Mahathir, 96, in his statement of defence filed on May 17 through Messrs Haidir & Co, claimed that five meetings between June 7, 2018 and Feb 25, 2020 took place at several locations, namely his residence in Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan; Perdana Leadership Foundation, Putrajaya; and the Prime Minister’s Office in Perdana Putra.

“During the period, the plaintiff (Zahid) had indeed spoken to me about the criminal cases he was facing.

“Since I was still holding the position of prime minister and interim prime minister at that time (from 2018 to 2020), Zahid took the opportunity to be nice to me because the criminal cases could jeopardise his political career.

“So, that must have been the plaintiff’s concern at that time and it was voiced to me,” Mahathir said in his statement of defence to Zahid’s defamation suit filed last month.

Mahathir also claimed that Khairuddin Abu Hassan had posted on his Facebook account that Zahid had asked him (Khairuddin) to arrange for a meeting with him (Mahathir).

“Any sane individual with the intellectual ability to think reasonably can see that Zahid, a politician who is facing criminal cases, had gone to see me, who at the time was holding an authoritative position, as an attempt to resolve the criminal cases he faced.

“I do not have any malicious intent against Zahid and do not have any interest or influence in any decision made by the court in relation to the criminal cases against Zahid,” Mahathir added.

In the suit filed on April 20, Zahid claimed that Mahathir, who is Pejuang chairman, had issued defamatory statements with malicious intent against him during a Pejuang event at Perdana Leadership Foundation, Putrajaya, on Feb 23, 2022.

The Bagan Datuk MP claimed that the statements meant he was a person who used shortcuts to resolve and postpone the trial of his ongoing court cases and his position to influence Mahathir to interfere in his criminal trials and the investigations by law enforcement agencies.

Zahid also filed an inter-parte application for an interim injunction for the defendant either personally or through his officers and representatives to retract the statements and prevent them from publishing, distributing or disseminating the statement or similar statements on any social media platform.

The interim injunction application will be heard before judge Rozana Ali Yusoff on June 17.

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