SHAH ALAM: The High Court here today fixed 23 days in October until December to hear the corruption case involving Malaysia’s foreign visa system (VLN) faced by former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix).
Judge Datuk Noorin Badaruddin set the trial dates, to begin on Oct 12 to 15 and then from Oct 26 to 28; Nov 2 to 5; Nov 16 to 19; Nov 23 to 26; Nov 30; and Dec 1 to 3.
Ahmad Zahid, 66, is charged with 40 counts of receiving bribes involving the VLN.
Following his application, the court ordered all the charges to be read out to him again today and he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He also pleaded not guilty to all the 33 alternative charges made against him.
Noorin also allowed an application by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran for all the cases to heard together.
Ahmad Zahid was represented by lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Tiek and Hamidi Mohd Noh.
On the alternative charges, made under Section 165 of the Penal Code, Ahmad Zahid was charged in his capacity as a civil servant, then as the Home Affairs Minister, with having received without consideration S$13,560,000 in connection with the implementation of the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.
On June 26 last year, Ahmad Zahid pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to seven counts of accepting bribes, involving more than to SGD4.24 million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd as an inducement to extend the company’s contract as the operator of the One-Stop Centre (OSC) in China and the VLN system.
He was charged with committing the offences at Seri Satria in Precinct 16, Putrajaya, between March 2017 and March 2018.
The following day, on June 27, at the Sessions Court here, Ahmad Zahid was slapped with 33 charges for accepting bribes amounting to RM42.76 million from a company linked to VLN system.
Twenty-six of the charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 for allegedly receiving SGD9,320,000 Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd as an inducement for him to extend the company’s contract as a VLN one-stop centre (OSC) in China and to maintain an agreement with the company to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia.
For the seven other charges, Ahmad Zahid was accused as a civil servant, of corruptly accepting SG$1,150,000; RM3,000,000; €15,000; and US$15,000 in cash from the same company which he knew had a connection with his function as then Home Affairs Minister.
He was charged with committing the offences at a house in Country Heights Kajang between October 2014 and October 2017. — Bernama