News | On-trial Zahid asks court to return passport so he can go to Germany to treat neck, back pain

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 ― Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is seeking the temporary release of his impounded passport so he can travel to Germany for medical treatment.

His lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh made the application in the High Court here today, saying his client needed to be treated for his pain from a leading specialist in Munich, Germany.

“Because the accused has been suffering from back pain and neck pain from before.

“We are making this application to allow the accused treatment to the effect where it is effective and that is required,” he said, adding that the current pain treatment available in Malaysia was not enough for Ahmad Zahid.

He noted that Ahmad Zahid has been treated around 2013, 2014 and 2016 for such pain, saying: “And the current regime of pain intervention in Malaysia is not sufficient for him, he’s still suffering a lot, and as Yang Arif has already heard from the doctor treating him here, that the pain is not manageable and that he requires certain intervention by his consulting physician.”

The application was filed on October 4, and came up for case management today.

Deputy public prosecutor Gan Peng Kun told the court that “the prosecution has instructions not to object to the application”.

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah said he would make an order on this application next Monday.

Sequerah is also the trial judge presiding over Ahmad Zahid’s 47-criminal charge case, and is expected to continue hearing arguments from the prosecution on Monday on why Ahmad Zahid should be called to enter his defence over the criminal charges.

The 47 charges that Ahmad Zahid is facing here are 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money-laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.

Hamidi told the court that a similar application for passport release has also been made to the High Court in Shah Alam, where Ahmad Zahid is facing a separate corruption trial involving 40 charges.

Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers will be going to the High Court in Shah Alam first on Monday morning for the passport release application there, before coming to the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Monday afternoon for the passport release application and the continued hearing for the trial.

Later when asked by reporters, Hamidi confirmed that the application is for the passport to be released on October 26, and to be returned on November 21.

Previously, Ahmad Zahid was said to have suffered a fall on August 18, and was admitted to a private hospital on August 22 due to injuries from the fall and was discharged on August 26. He was also on medical leave until September 4.

On August 24 which was when Ahmad Zahid’s trial in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to continue, he was not present in court, with his lawyer explaining that he could not attend due to severe neck pain and could not sit for a long time.

Ahmad Zahid’s doctor later told the court that his client had on August 24 undergone treatment for his pain and disagreed that his client had faked his illness to avoid attending court.

Ahmad Zahid’s passport had been surrendered to the courts since he was first charged in October 2018.

Back in 2019, Ahmad Zahid had also applied to the court for the temporary return of his passport to enable him to travel to Saudi Arabia between May 9 and June 3 to perform umrah or for a Muslim pilgrimage trip.

But the High Court on May 3, 2019 had rejected the application then as such a trip was not compulsory and as Ahmad Zahid was facing serious charges in the trial, with the Court of Appeal on May 14, 2019 and the Federal Court on May 23, 2019 also dismissing his appeals against the High Court’s decision. – MALAY MAIL

By Ida Lim

credit photo: TheEdgeMarket

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