PUTRAJAYA (Feb 17): Lawyers for Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi submitted a representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) concerning the prosecution’s appeal against his acquittal of 40 charges of corruption in connection with the foreign visa (VLN) system.
A reliable source confirmed to Bernama when contacted today that the representation was likely for the AGC’s consideration not to pursue with its appeal.
The prosecution had filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal on Sept 26, last year, against the Shah Alam High Court’s decision to acquit and discharge Ahmad Zahid, who is now deputy prime minister, of all the charges after ruling that the prosecution had not established a prima facie case against him.
A case management for the appeal was held today before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Mohd Khairi Haron who then fixed another case management on March 31, pending consideration of the representation.
In his decision delivered on Sept 24, last year, High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa said he found that the notations of “Z” and “ZH” that appeared in Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd’s (UKSB) ledger did not prove that Ahmad Zahid had received the money or gratification.
Justice Mohd Yazid also held that key prosecution witnesses were unrealiable and not credible.
The Umno President pleaded not guilty to 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to SG$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of a one-stop centre (OSC) service in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain its contract with the home ministry to supply the VLN integrated system.
According to the charge sheet, Ahmad Zahid, who was former home minister, was alleged to have committed the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.
He also claimed trial to 33 alternative charges under Section 165 of the Penal Code, where he was charged in his capacity as a home minister with receiving bribes amounting to SG$13.56 million in relation to the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.
For the other seven charges, he was alleged to have obtained for himself cash of SG$1,150,000, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company, which he knew had a connection with his official functions.
He was charged for allegedly committing the offences at a house in Country Heights, Kajang, between June 2015 and October 2017.
In its petition of appeal filed on Dec 29, last year, the prosecution submitted 14 reasons focusing on the findings of fact and law made by Justice Mohd Yazid on the question of whether there was bribery in the giving and receiving of money in the case. – Bernama