KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s legal team will file an appeal for the total acquittal of his 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges after the High Court had granted him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on Monday.
Senior lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Pok Teik, who is Zahid’s lead lawyer, told the media that while they respected the decision by the court, they would file an appeal for a discharge amounting to an acquittal (DAA) to the court of appeal by Tuesday (September 5).
“We respect the decision of his Lordship, and we will make an appeal to the Court of Appeal with regards to the decision made this morning. We are asking for a total acquittal," he said to the media after the proceedings before judge Datuk Seri Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
He said that the judge did not appreciate the arguments for Zahid’s DAA, so they would file the appeal at the upper court.
Speaking to the media with his lawyers, family members, and supporters outside the court complex, Zahid said he hoped that this would spell the end of “politically motivated” charges.
“Our role in Barisan Nasional and Umno is to continue fighting, to ensure a stop to all politically motivated charges,” he said.
He also added that he and his family were grateful because Sequerah had discharged him of all 47 charges.
“The judge has decided to discharge me, but it does not amount to an acquittal because there is still an ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry on the book written by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas,” he said.
The prosecution said that they were applying for the DNAA partly because of the RCI, as it is deemed important for the prosecution to investigate claims that Zahid’s charges were politically motivated.
Zahid was granted the DNAA on 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges, eight counts of bribery, and 27 for money laundering, involving scores of millions of ringgit belonging to his charity arm Yayasan Akalbudi.
He was accused of committing the offences between March 28, 2016, and April 11, 2018.