KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — The High Court today issued a warning against comments made in a sub judice manner about former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s ongoing criminal trial, after his daughter Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid’s Instagram post was brought to the court’s attention.
This morning just before the trial could proceed, the case’s lead prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran highlighted that the prosecution has been informed of an Instagram posting under the account name “nurul.zahid” who is believed to be Ahmad Zahid’s daughter.
Showing printed screenshots of the Instagram post to the court, Raja Rozela said there was certain materials inside which the prosecution think is “prejudicial” especially to the prosecution.
Raja Rozela said the Instagram post’s author had made “blatant” lies and accusations in comments about the prosecution and the trial that has been heard about the past two days.
“I believe nurul.zahid is obviously ignorant of the law, but more importantly motivated by ill-intention to prejudice the proceedings of this case.
“This issue is still ongoing, is still under judicial consideration, the posting amounts to sub judice and we ask the court to prohibit this author and all other would-be authors, overzealous authors who were to make any comments about the ongoing proceedings at any time.
“My Lord, we take this very, very seriously. At this moment, I’ve not been instructed to initiate any contempt proceedings but I think this is sufficient notice for the public not to make any comment on judicial proceedings,” she said.
One of Zahid’s lawyers, Hamidi Mohd Noh initially said this was a “small matter however, very important because it involves sub judice” and said the defence team would look into it.
When the judge remarked this was “hardly a small matter”, Hamidi agreed that it is a “serious matter”.
“And I would like to first apologise to the courts and we would look into this and we will ask the author to remove the posting if it is the court’s will,” he said.
Asked by the judge if that was all, Hamidi said: “We need to check first. If this is an issue that requires removal, I would ask for removal.”
Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court that the author will be advised to remove the Instagram post. However, he also said such matters were beyond the defence team’s control.
“On behalf of the defence, perhaps to say this will not happen again, but beyond our control,” he said.
Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then gave a brief warning without naming anyone.
“But I think this court has to issue perhaps a warning that comments of sub judice nature shouldn’t be made while the trial is ongoing,” he said, and continued with the trial.
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