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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Zahid completes testimony after 17 days on witness stand


After 17 days on the witness stand, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi finally completed giving evidence to defend himself yesterday, against charges of corruption involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Zahid, 69, who gave his sworn testimony before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah starting April 13, denied all the allegations against him.

In the subsequent proceedings, lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh representing Zahid said the number of defence witnesses would be reduced to 40 from 43.

"The defence will prepare the witness statements and submit them to the prosecution within 14 days before they testify," said the lawyer.

Sequerah: Is it still necessary to call 40 witnesses?

Hamidi: Yes, Your Honour, even if the number reaches 40, they will not take much time, in fact, we will follow the trial schedule that has been set.

However, deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran proposed that only 20 witnesses be called to testify.

"Earlier, it was said 43 witnesses will be called to give evidence, now it is down to 40, but it is still considered too many. So I propose that the court set additional dates for the coming proceedings," she said.

Zahid's lead defence lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, however, said there was no need to set additional dates at this time because the witnesses would not take too long to testify.

The court then set for the 40 witnesses to be called over 20 days from Sept 19 to 22, Sept 26 to 29, Oct 17 to 20, Oct 31 and Nov 1 to 3, Nov 7 to 10.

Zahid is facing 47 charges, namely 12 charges of criminal breach of trust, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering.

- Bernama

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