THE High Court here was today told that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could not be in court for the hearing of his corruption case, involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds, as he has been hospitalised due to a back injury.
Ahmad Zahid’s counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, informed judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah that a letter from a specialist hospital stated that his client sustained the injury as a result of a fall.
“We have a letter, dated August 23, 2021, explaining to your lordship the circumstances of the accused not being present (in court today).
“The letter also said that due to the severity of the back pain, he is not able to sit for a long time. He was admitted to a private hospital in Shah Alam last Sunday (Aug 22),” he said.
He said Ahmad Zahid was scheduled to undergo a medical procedure at 8am today to relieve the pain.
“As far as the defence is concerned, we are ready to proceed. We don’t want to be accused of any delay,” he added.
The court was supposed to hear submissions at the end of the prosecution case by both parties today.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran told the court that the prosecution was ready to submit the case today as the matter had been postponed many times.
“We leave the matter to the court to decide whether the case can be conducted via online or proceed without the accused present. That is an important point to consider, My Lord. We don’t want the court to be seen as denying his right to be heard,” she said.
On March 19, the prosecution closed the case after calling 99 witnesses to testify.
Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges — 12 on criminal breach of trust, eight on corruption and 27 on money laundering — involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.