Ahmad Zahid fails to challenge MACC and Money Laundering Acts

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

The High Court here today dismissed an application by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) to challenge the constitutionality of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFAPUAA) over admissibility of documentary evidence.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah held that Ahmad Zahid’s application was premature as the trial has yet to commence.

The judge made the ruling after allowing a preliminary objection (PO) raised by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran.

“I find myself in agreement with the prosecution that the application to challenge the constitutionality Section 41A of the MACC Act and Section 71 of AMLA at this point of time is premature because the trial has not yet commenced.

“As such, the court allows the preliminary objection raised by the prosecution and dismiss the application by the defence. The prosecution is accordingly to commence the trial,” said Justice Sequerah.

The judge said disputes over the documentary evidence could be raised by the defence during the course of the trial.

At the outset, Raja Rozela raised a PO saying that the application was premature and an abuse of the court process as the trial has yet to begin.

She said the applicant (Ahmad Zahid) could submit the application in the course of the trial and it would not prejudice to his case.

“Given the fact that the trial has not commenced, there is no live issue. In order for the court to decide on the issue (on the constitutionality of the two Sections), a question of law must arise in the trial itself,” she said.

Ahmad Zahid’s lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik countered that the prosecution’s PO was misconceived and that the two provisions were inconsistent with Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

“We say that this is a live issue and we will be prejudiced in the event the application is not heard and considered by the court,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid is facing a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.