KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution today reprimanded Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix) for providing unnecessary explanations to specific questions during his trial.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran told the former deputy prime minister that the latter should not consider the court as a ‘coffee shop’ or an Umno Supreme Council meeting while answering the questions.
The question posed by Raja Rozela was whether the former deputy prime minister agreed to the suggestion that his former executive secretary Maj Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly could not touch the money in the fixed deposit account at Messrs. Lewis & Co.
After Raja Rozela asked the question several times and reprimanded him to answer it specifically, Ahmad Zahid finally answered, “Agree”.
Raja Rozela then said “Thank you, thank you Datuk Seri, thank you very much, while Ahmad Zahid replied: “Thank you to you too”.
Raja Rozela then replied: “Please be careful Datuk Seri. You’re currently in the court and not at a coffee shop, or a supreme council meeting. I am reminding you as an officer of the court ”.
Earlier, Raja Rozela had also reprimanded Ahmad Zahid for not providing specific answers to questions regarding the Akalbudi Foundation (YAB) funds transferred to the Lewis & Co. fixed deposit account.
“Datuk Seri, you must learn to respect the court. When I ask a question and the question is specific, please answer the question specifically unless I ask you to provide an explanation.
“I am a court officer. I and my learned colleagues, Datuk Seri’s lawyers are court officials. We are tasked to conduct these proceedings for this court. I urge Datuk Seri to please focus, otherwise, we will be here (at court) all day,” said Raja Rozela.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik who represented Ahmad Zahid then stood up to say that his client should be given an opportunity to give an explanation.
High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah replied that the prosecution was of the view because Ahmad Zahid did not answer the questions specifically, and instead provided explanations.
“Sometimes witnesses are given the opportunity to give an explanation, but when asked whether the witness agrees or not, the witness only has to answer whether he does so or not. That is why the prosecution thinks so,” said Sequerah.
On Jan 24, the court ordered Zahid to enter his defence for 12 charges of CBT, eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB after finding that the prosecution had successfully made out a prima facie case against the accused.
The trial before Justice Sequerah continues. — Bernama