Prove Zahid is innocent, PM tells critics

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad challenged today those who claimed that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s prosecution was politically motivated to prove their allegations. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

SHAH ALAM, Oct 22 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad challenged today those who claimed that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s prosecution was politically motivated to prove their allegations.

“Show us proof that he is innocent, that the 45 charges were fabricated, backed with the relevant documents and evidence.

“With that you can only then accuse us of purposely taking action against him,” said Dr Mahathir during a forum at the Karangkraf Hall organised by Malay daily Sinar Harian.

Last week, Zahid was slapped with 45 charges ranging from offences under the Penal Code, to the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Among the 45 charges against him, eight were for accepting bribes totalling RM21.25 million during his tenure as the former Home Affairs Minister from May 2013 to May this year.

Dr Mahathir stressed the charges against Zahid were formulated by Attorney General Tommy Thomas, whom he said was not a politician.

“He is an outsider, and at one point even he (Thomas) was against me.

“The AG cannot form charges unless there is sufficient evidence, and the proof must be those which are accepted by the courts,” he explained.

Dr Mahathir said if there was no sufficient evidence against Zahid, it would be similar to fighting a losing battle.

“If there is no evidence, when you go to court, their lawyer, the one that is very smart, he can surely win,” said Dr Mahathir in a veiled reference to prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

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