KUALA LUMPUR – Following continued criticism of the court decision in Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi’s case, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has reiterated that he does not have the power to interfere.
“If I had the power, I would have delayed the decision after all the by-elections were done,” said the Prime Minister, referring to the twin by-elections in Johor on Saturday and an upcoming one in Pahang.”
He was speaking to reporters after Friday prayers here in response to allegations that he had something to do with how Malaysia’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) conducted Datuk Seri Zahid’s corruption case.
Opposition coalition Perikatan Nasional has said that the court decision would boost its chances in the Simpang Jeram state and Pulai parliamentary by-elections.
On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Mr Zahid a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on 47 charges involving funds from Yayasan Akalbudi, following the AGC’s application to withdraw charges against him.
The AGC’s decision has been criticised by legal experts and criminal lawyers who are questioning why the prosecution decided to discontinue the case after 99 witnesses had proven a prima facie case against Mr Zahid.
The decision reignited speculation that Datuk Seri Anwar had made a deal with Mr Zahid to have the case dropped in exchange for the latter’s support for him to be prime minister.
Mr Anwar revealed some of the discussions he had with outgoing Attorney-General Idrus Harun which led to the decision.
“The AGC did not agree to postpone its application to the court because the trial was on Sept 4, but his last day in office was Sept 5.
“He wanted to (follow through on) his responsibility and did not want to relinquish it to someone else. I could not stop him from doing so,” he said.
Mr Anwar said he did not blame the public for wanting further clarification.
“I myself have asked for an explanation from the AG, so I don’t blame the public for wanting one also.
“But… the judge was satisfied with it (the 11 reasons the AGC presented to the court). We cannot blame the court,” he added. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
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