FORMER Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya has urged the government to stop misleading the public by claiming that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) was the court’s decision.
Latheefa pointed out that the court had no choice but to grant the prosecutor’s request to drop all charges against the UMNO president.
“Stop trying to fool the people by repeating endlessly that Zahid’s DNAA was the court’s decision,” the former PKR Youth Wing information bureau chief tweeted today (Sept 5).
“Article 145(3) is clear; the court had no choice in the matter. So don’t blame the court. That’s dishonest and a slur upon a hardworking judge. The government can’t push the buck on this to anyone else.”
Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution states that “the attorney-general shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial”.
After 77 days of trial, the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday (Sept 4) acquitted Zahid of 47 charges of corruption, breach of trust and money laundering of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the request of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to have the trial proceedings stopped for all the charges against Zahid.
Sequerah said that the prosecution through the Attorney General exercised his authority in accordance with Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution and Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and applied for a DNAA.
The prosecution has asked for the proceedings to be halted, as they are presently in the self-defense stage, with 15 defence witnesses, including Zahid, already testifying.
However, the court rejected the defense team’s request that the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman be released and acquitted of the charges he was facing. – Sept 5, 2023
Main pic credit: The Malaysian Reserve