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This is a court, not a coffee shop or Supreme Council meeting, Zahid told at graft trial

The prosecution reprimands him for providing unnecessary explanations instead of responding to specific questions.

2 minute read
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur court complex yesterday. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur court complex yesterday. Photo: Bernama

The prosecution today reprimanded Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for providing unnecessary explanations to specific questions during his trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran told the former deputy prime minister that he should not consider the court a coffee shop or an Umno Supreme Council meeting while answering the questions.

The question posed by Raja Rozela was whether Zahid agreed to the suggestion that his former executive secretary Maj Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly could not touch the money in the fixed deposit account at Messrs Lewis & Co.

After Raja Rozela asked the question several times and asked him to answer it specifically, Zahid finally answered, “Agree.”

Raja Rozela then said: “Thank you, thank you Datuk Seri, thank you very much,” while Zahid replied: “Thank you to you, too.”

Raja Rozela then replied: “Please be careful, Datuk Seri. You’re currently in court and not at a coffee shop or a Supreme Council meeting. I am reminding you as an officer of the court.”

Earlier, Raja Rozela also reprimanded Zahid for not providing specific answers to questions regarding the funds from the Akalbudi Foundation transferred to the Lewis & Co fixed deposit account.

“Datuk Seri, you must learn to respect the court. When I ask a question and the question is specific, please answer the question specifically unless I ask you to provide an explanation.

“I am a court officer. I and my learned colleagues, Datuk Seri’s lawyers, are court officials. We are tasked with conducting the proceedings for this court. I urge Datuk Seri to please focus, otherwise, we will be here (at court) all day,” said Raja Rozela.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Zahid, then stood to say that his client should be given an opportunity to give an explanation.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah replied that the prosecution was of that view as Zahid had not answered the questions specifically, but instead provided explanations.

“Sometimes witnesses are given the opportunity to give an explanation, but when asked whether the witness agrees or not, the witness only has to answer whether he does so or not. That is why the prosecution thinks so,” said Sequerah.

On Jan 24, the court ordered Zahid to enter his defence for 12 charges of criminal breach of trust, eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi after finding that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case against him.

The trial before justice Sequerah continues.