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Malaysia court drops deputy PM's corruption charges

EPA PHOTO

A Malaysian court has granted a request from prosecutors to drop all corruption charges against the country's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, his lawyer says.

Ahmad Zahid was one of many high-ranking officials, including ex-premier Najib Razak, charged with corruption in 2018 when the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party was voted out of power due to widespread anger over graft.

He was appointed to the second-highest office in the country after UMNO joined forces with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's coalition to form a government following a divisive election in November.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday granted Ahmad Zahid - who was facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, bribery and money laundering - a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, after the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) chose not to continue pursuing the case, state news agency Bernama reported.

Ahmad Zahid had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, a lawyer for Ahmad Zahid, confirmed the report and said his team had requested a full acquittal.

The AGC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last September, a Malaysian high court had acquitted Ahmad Zahid in a separate bribery case, saying the prosecution had failed to provide enough evidence.