PUTRAJAYA — Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has failed in his appeal against the dismissal of his application to consolidate his 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges over funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, to become three.
This follows a unanimous decision by the three-men bench of the Court of Appeal today to dismiss Ahmad Zahid’s appeal against the decision made by Kuala Lumpur High Court judge, Collin Lawrence Sequerah, on Nov 8 last year.
Justice Datuk Yaacob Md Sam who led the bench said that the panels found that there was no appealable error from the High Court in dismissing Ahmad Zahid’s application.
The other judges on the bench were, P. Ravinthran and Datuk Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.
The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament, who was present in court, was appealing against the High Court ruling in dismissing his application to consolidate his 12 CBT charges over funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, to become three.
Judge Sequerah made the decision after finding that the present 12 charges against Ahmad Zahid are clear and the accused could understand them for preparing his defence, thus not raising any issue of prejudice.
Moreover, he ruled that Section 153 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code does not make it mandatory for the prosecution to combine the charges.
On Oct 19 and Dec 14, 2018, as well as Feb 20 this year, Ahmad Zahid had pleaded not guilty to a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for CBT, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The trial before Judge Sequerah was set to continue on July 3.
Earlier, Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitted that the application to consolidate the 12 charges to become three, was meant to prevent unfairness and prejudice to his client.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi, however, said fairness is not based on the perception but must be based on law.
“There was nothing wrong with the charges. The High Court judge also said that the case is not tried by the jury or by the media but it will be tried by the judge. Every charge that is imposed on the accused must be proved before the court, so it will not prejudice him at all,” he said.
When met outside the court, Hisyam told the media that he would consult his client whether to file an appeal against today’s decision to the Federal Court.