KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) today defended its decision to withdraw 47 corruption charges against Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying that the decision was made based on clear, logical and convincing reasons.
“Based on media reports that the AGC’s action to withdraw the charges against Zahid is immoral, the department would like to stress that the decision was made based on reasons that have been presented and accepted by the court.
“When making the decision, the honourable judge stated that the reasons given by the prosecution were cogent,” the AGC said in a brief statement here.
Earlier today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared that the recent decision to not pursue Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi trial was a “black mark” in the nation’s history and was an allegedly "immoral" decision.
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman also blamed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for what he called “damage” to the judiciary resulting from the Pakatan Harapan chairman’s alleged attempt to solidify his power.
Yesterday, the prosecution decided to discontinue and drop the Yayasan Akalbudi trial against Zahid — which resulted in the High Court granting a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on Zahid for all 47 charges he faced.
Trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah when delivering his decision in the High Court yesterday said that the prosecution had "given cogent reasons" it sought the DNAA.
This came after Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar explained that further investigations on Zahid’s case had to be carried out, following the representations from Zahid to the attorney general to ask for all 47 charges to be reviewed.
Zahid, who is also Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman, faced 47 charges in this case, namely, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to over RM31 million of his charitable organisation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges of over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.
Yayasan Akalbudi was founded with the purported objectives of receiving and administering funds for the eradication of poverty and enhancing the welfare of the poor.
The decision to drop the case despite the prosecution previously having shown a prima facie case, was panned by both sides of the political divide.
DAP, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, and electoral watchdog Bersih were among those who have called the Attorney General’s Chambers to explain the decision.