Court to rule on Zahid’s foreign visa system case tomorrow

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will know tomorrow if has to enter his defence over 40 corruption charges concerning the foreign visa system. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 22, 2022.

THE Shah Alam High Court will tomorrow rule on whether to call for Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to enter his defence over 40 charges of corruption concerning the foreign visa system (VLN).

Judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa is scheduled to deliver his decision at 9am.

Deputy public prosecutors Raja Rozela Raja Toran, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Abdul Malik Ayob, Zander Lim Wai Keong and B. Thavani are prosecuting, while lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hamidi Mohd Noh are representing Zahid.

The prosecution closed its case last August 11 after calling 18 witnesses, in the trial which began on May 24 last year.

Among the prosecution witnesses called to testify were former Home Ministry secretary-general 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, Zahid, 69,  was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with seven charges of corruption over the VLN and on July 31 of the same year, it allowed Zahid’s application to transfer the case to the Shah Alam Sessions Court for it to be jointly heard with 33 other corruption charges, also in connection with the VLN.

All the cases were then transferred to the Shah Alam High Court for hearing.

On the 33 charges, Zahid was alleged to have received bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM43.61 million) from UKSB for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the one-stop centre service in China and the VLN 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, under section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, carries a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The Bagan Datuk MP also claimed trial to 33 alternative charges under section 65 of the penal code, whereby he was charged in his capacity as home minister with receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million in relation to the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.

On another seven counts, he was charged with obtaining for himself S$1.15 million, RM3 million, €15,000 (RM68,995) and US$15,000 (RM65,854.50) from the same company, which has links to his official duty.

He was charged with committing the offences at a house in Country Heights, Kajang between June 2015 and October 2017. – Bernama, September 22, 2022.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.