KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today ordered a specialist doctor from a private hospital to explain former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s condition as the accused was not present for his corruption case hearing today.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah ruled that a subpoena would be issued to Dr Mohd Shahir Anuar from Avisena Specialist Hospital in Shah Alam to explain the procedure to be carried out on Ahmad Zahid and the duration needed for the accused to fully recover.
“The court cannot allow any further delay. The court will call the doctor to explain the accused’s health condition and the procedure that will be carried out on him,” the judge said.
The judge added he would rather have the accused present in court for the hearing to avoid a situation resulting to a mistrial and also ordered for the doctor to come to the court to explain Ahmad Zahid’s medical condition tomorrow at 3.30pm.
“We can’t afford anymore postponement as the last set of dates was given up because of the Covid-19 fears, close contacts of lawyers and that had taken away a large portion of our dates.
“I was looking forward to kicking off the hearing today but unfortunately, the accused has a procedure…maybe we can hear from the doctor himself,” Judge Sequerah said.
The court was supposed to hear submissions at the end of the prosecution’s case by both parties today.
Earlier, Ahmad Zahid’s counsel, Hamidi Mohd Noh, informed Judge Sequerah that he had contacted the doctor and he was informed that the doctor was unable to come to court today.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran then told the court that she had received the letter from the defence on the accused’s absence.
“Our main concern is that the accused is not present and the letter does not say anything about the accused agreeing for the case to proceed in his absence.
“That is an important point to consider because we do not want the court to be seen as denying his rights to be heard in court,” she said.
The court then fixed Sept 6 for submissions at the end of the prosecution’s case.
On March 19, the prosecution closed the case after calling 99 witnesses to testify.
Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges — 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering — involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi. – Bernama