The Federal Court rejected the appeal of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to consolidate the 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT)
charges he faced into just three charges in the trial of cases involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
The three judge panel led by Chief Justice of Malaya, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed ruled that there was no violation of Section 153 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code,
adding that the section was not a mandatory provision.
“We therefore agree with the Court of Appeal on this issue that the move to combine all 12 CBT charges into just three charges is not something that is mandatory”
Azahar said whilst delivering the judgement of the panel judges.
Azahar said it was not enough for Ahmad Zahid to simply claim that he had been barred from getting a fair trial without showing evidence on this matter.
He added that the complaint that the charges against Ahmad Zahid would give rise to the perception of adversity having no merit.
Hence, The court will decide all charges based on the evidence presented.
“Adversary perception is not a factor to be considered by the court and adversary publicity will also not affect Ahmad Zahid’s right to a fair trial.” Azhar said.
Azahar said Hisyam Teh Poh Teik’s lawyer had argued that if found guilty of all charges, Ahmad Zahid would be sentenced separately for 12 charges instead of just three.
“at this stage, it is irrelevant for us to consider the issue of punishment” Azahar said.
He said usually, the sentence depend on the discretion of the court which judged the trial based on existing principles after taking into account all relevant factors including
the accused’s appeal and the environmental circumstances of the case.
Azahar, who convened with two Federal Court judges, Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim, unanimously dismissed Ahmad Zahid’s
appeal after ruling there was no merit in the appeal made by him.
Earlier, Ahmad Zahid failed in his attempt to consolidate all the CBT charges against him at the High Court and Court of Appeal levels
which led him to take the matter to the Federal Court.
Ahmad Zahid has pleaded not guilty to 47 charges with 12 of them being CBT, eight bribery and 27 money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit
belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi
High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah has ordered the prosecution and defense to submit written submissions respectively on 28th and set 28th to 30th June as well as 1st to 2nd July as the hearing dates for oral submissions.
Earlier, in today’s proceedings, Hisham argued that non-compliance with Section 153 (2) was unfair to his client because if he was convicted of all 12 CBT charges,
Ahmad Zahid would face separate sentences and jail terms may be ordered consecutively.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran urged the court to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that the High Court’s decision refusing to
combine all the charges into just three was accurate and well founded.