- Advertisement -

I'd have preferred DNAA for Zahid delayed until after Johor by-elections, says Anwar

The prime minister also says it is unfair to judge politicians facing charges, as outrage continues over the move to halt the corruption trial.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama

Anwar Ibrahim said he would have preferred the request to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to his deputy, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, be delayed until after the twin by-elections of Pulai and Simpang Jeram in Johor tomorrow.

But the prime minister said Idrus Harun, who recently stepped down as the attorney-general (AG), insisted on dropping the 47 corruption charges against Zahid while he was still holding the position.

"So he fulfilled his responsibility. He didn't want to pass his responsibility on to others.

"I couldn't stop him, and I've read statements, some of which are true and some of which raise doubts and demand further clarification," Anwar told reporters today, as the uproar over the unprecedented move to halt the trial continued with various quarters condemning the Attorney-General's Chambers and Putrajaya.

Anwar, who extended Idrus' tenure by six months in March, said he had no say in the decision by the former AG.

He said Idrus moved to request the DNAA from the High Court after reading a so-called "leaked" document, where deputy public prosecutors had purportedly opposed the move by former AG Tommy Thomas to bring charges against Zahid.

The document's authenticity has yet to be confirmed.

Anwar said Idrus wanted the DNAA application to be done before his last day in office.

"He said the court date was on the 4th, and his last day was on the 5th."

Meanwhile, in defence of Zahid, Anwar said it was not fair to make judgements on politicians.

He also disputed statements by prominent lawyers who said the judge had no choice but to grant the DNAA.

"Don't listen to accusations by politicians. Sometimes they just say whatever they like.

"So I suggest that you read the decision that the AG made in front of the judge and why the judge agreed to the motion. Some say the judge had no choice. That's not true," said Anwar.

He said judges have discretion in deciding on requests by the AG.

"Because the accusation by one side is that Anwar's government has abandoned reforms; this isn't true," he added.