SHAH ALAM: The decision on whether Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will walk away or be ordered to enter his defence on 40 charges of corruption in connection with the Foreign Visa System (VLN) will be known tomorrow.
High Court judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa is scheduled to deliver his decision at the end of the defence case at 9 am.
If the decision favours the prosecution, Ahmad Zahid, 69, will be called to enter his defence. Otherwise, the former deputy prime minister will be acquitted and discharged of the case.
The prosecution is represented by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Abdul Malik Ayob, Zander Lim Wai Keong and B. Thavani, while lawyers Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hamidi Mohd Noh, represented Ahmad Zahid.
The prosecution closed its case last Aug 11 after calling 18 witnesses, in the trial which began on May 24, 2021.
Among the prosecution witnesses called to testify were former Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Alwi Ibrahim and three former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) directors Harry Lee Vui Khiun, Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani and David Tan Siong Sun.
On June 26, 2019, Ahmad Zahid, 69, was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with seven charges of corruption over the VLN system and on July 31 of the same year, it allowed Ahmad Zahid’s application to transfer the case to the Shah Alam Sessions Court for the case to be jointly heard with 33 other corruption charges, also in connection with the VLN, made against Ahmad Zahid.
All the cases were then transferred to the Shah Alam High Court for hearing.
On the 33 charges, Ahmad Zahid was alleged to have received 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 OSC service in China and the VLN system as well as to maintain the contract agreement to supply the VLN integrated system to the same company by the Home Ministry.
He was charged with committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights Kajang between October 2014 and March 2018.
The charges were framed under Section 16 (a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000 whichever is higher upon conviction.
The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament also pleaded not guilty to 33 alternative charges framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, whereby he was charged in his capacity as Home Minister with receiving bribes amounting to SGD13.56 million in relation to the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.
On the other seven other charges, he was alleged to have obtained for himself SG$1,150,000, RM3.125 million, 15,000 Swiss Franc and US$15,000 from the same company which he knew had a connection with his function as the then Home Affairs Minister.
He was charged with committing the offences at a house in Country Heights, Kajang between June 2015 and October 2017. - Bernama