KUALA LUMPUR: Following is the chronology of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s court cases that led to the High Court’s decision today which ordered him to enter his defence on 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) funds.
Oct 19, 2018 – Ahmad Zahid was charged for the first time at the Sessions Court with 10 CBT and eight corruption charges involving RM42,083,132.99 and 27 charges of money laundering involving RM72,063,618.15.
Dec 14, 2018 – Ahmad Zahid was charged for the second time at the same court with another charge of CBT involving RM10 million of YAB funds.
Feb 20, 2019 – Ahmad Zahid was charged for the third time at the same court with yet another charge of CBT involving RM260,000 belonging to YAB.
Feb 28, 2019 – The Sessions Court transferred all Ahmad Zahid’s cases to the High Court following a request by the defence team.
March 22, 2019 – High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah set July 8 to Sept 12, 2019, for the trial of the cases.
May 3, 2019 – The High Court vacated Ahmad Zahid’s trial dates to make way for the trial of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who faced 25 charges of corruption and money laundering involving RM2.28 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, which was set to begin on Aug 9 till the first two weeks of November.
The court also rescheduled Ahmad Zahid’s trial to Nov 18, 20, 21, 22 and Dec 2 to 6, 9 to 13.
On the same day, the court also rejected Ahmad Zahid’s application to have his impounded passport returned to enable him to perform umrah from May 9 to June 3.
May 14, 2019 – The Court of Appeal dismissed Ahmad Zahid’s appeal to have his impounded passport returned to perform umrah.
May 24, 2019 – The Federal Court also dismissed his appeal to get his passport returned to perform umrah.
Nov 18, 2019 – Ahmad Zahid’s trial began before Judge Sequerah.
March 2, 2020 – The prosecution filed an application to initiate contempt of court proceedings following the postponement of the hearing after Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer informed the court that his client had to attend a meeting on the formation of Cabinet with the then Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
However, the Prime Minister’s Office later issued a statement that there was no such meeting scheduled on that day.
March 3, 2020 – The High Court dismissed the prosecution’s application to initiate contempt of court proceedings after Ahmad Zahid made a public apology.
Feb 22, 2021 – Ahmad Zahid’s defence team was told to advise him not to attend any meeting at least a week before a trial date after the trial had to be postponed several times as he had to undergo quarantine.
March 19, 2021 – The prosecution closed its case after 53 days of trial and hearing statements from 99 witnesses.
Aug 24, 2021 – The High Court subpoenaed a specialist doctor from a private hospital to explained Ahmad Zahid’s condition after he failed to attend the trial. Ahmad Zahid was reported to have been admitted to the hospital after a fall.
Aug 25, 2021 – The specialist doctor informed the court that it was ‘possible’ for Ahmad Zahid to attend the trial on Sept 6.
Sept 6, 2021 – Submissions at the end of the prosecution’s case began. Ahmad Zahid was present at the court wearing a neck brace.
Sept 8, 2021 – High Court judge warned the public against making comments on social media in regard to the corruption trial involving the former deputy prime minister after the prosecution informed the court that Ahmad Zahid’s daughter Datuk Nurulhidayah had made an Instagram post on her father’s case.
Oct 7, 2021 – Ahmad Zahid filed an application to have his impounded passport returned to enable him to seek medical treatment for his back and neck pain in Germany.
Oct 11, 2021 – The High Court granted Ahmad Zahid’s application to have his passport returned to seek treatment in Germany.
Dec 6, 2021 – Judge Sequerah set Jan 24 to decide on the prosecution’s case. — Bernama