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AGC says looking at new evidence in Zahid case

Attorney-General Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh also hits out at criticism by the Malaysian Bar.

2 minute read
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi raises his fist as he leaves the Kuala Lumpur court complex, Sept 4. Photo: Reuters
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi raises his fist as he leaves the Kuala Lumpur court complex, Sept 4. Photo: Reuters

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) says it is still investigating the new evidence in the Yayasan Akalbudi case involving Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, with the assistance of various parties.

Attorney-General Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh said any decision to prosecute the deputy prime minister, charging other related parties or otherwise, would be made after a more detailed and comprehensive investigation.

He also said his department never used the word "withdraw" in Zahid's case as stated in the Bar Council’s statement on Thursday.

"In this matter, we categorically deny the claims, including that the department had sullied its own reputation and credibility through its own actions.

"This department will stress once again that the AGC only carries out its duties and responsibilites as stipulated under existing laws. Therefore, the department hopes that all parties will stop all speculation (regarding Zahid's case)," he said in a statement.

Zahid received a discharge not amounting to acquital on Sept 4 for 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, graft, and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi after 114 witnesses testified at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Terrirudin also said that the attorney-general and AGC were in the best position to decide whether prosecution should continue based on a number of factors, including reports from investigative bodies and submitted representations.

"The attorney-general and AGC cannot simply reject representations submitted by any accused, and need to examine every detail provided to uphold the legal process.

"In the related case, the attorney-general's decision using his discretion under Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution cannot be made without basis, what more due to the intervention of any party," he said, adding that the representation submitted had contained too many details, with over 200 pages each excluding supporting documents.

"Therefore, the attorney-general and the department must take time to study every detail and document with due diligence before any action or decision can be made," he said.

Terrirudin said the attorney-general could stop prosecutions at any stage as long as judgment had not been pronounced by the court, including after a prima facie case has been proven.

"It is important to state that this is not the first time prosecution has been stopped after a prima facie case was proven," he added.