The Borneo Post

Ahmad Zahid fails to get impounded passport to perform umrah


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here yesterday dismissed an applicatio­n by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 47 charges of money-laundering, criminal breach of trust ( CBT) and corruption­s, for the temporary return of his impounded passport to perform umrah.

After hearing submission­s by both defence and prosecutio­n, Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said the performanc­e of umrah although highly recommende­d during the fasting month was not compulsory.

“In my understand­ing, there is no desperate need and there is no obligation to the applicant (Ahmad Zahid) to perform umrah. Although the applicant has been performing umrah since 30 years ago, the situation and circumstan­ces currently prevailing are very different as he is presently facing serious and numerous charges. Therefore, the court dismisses this applicatio­n,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitted that his client had to travel to Saudi Arabia between May 9 and June 3 to perform umrah. Hisyam said that his client had no other intention as he is still a Member of Parliament and that his family members are still in the country.

“He will return the passport to the court the next day of his arrival in this country,” Hisyam said.

Ahmad Zahid was also present in the court yesterday.

Another lawyer representi­ng Ahmad Zahid, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal said his client had never failed to annually perform umrah over the past 30 years, especially during the month of Ramadhan.

Justice Sequerah: So, are you saying it is compulsory?

Ahmad Zaidi: No, but its highly recommende­d in Islam. He has never failed to annually perform umrah over the past 30 years.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi objected to the applicatio­n saying that it was not a desperate need to the applicant to perform umrah as the charges the accused were facing were serious.

Earlier, the court fixed Nov 18, 20, 21, 22 and Dec 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12,13 for the trial.

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