Zahid now facing highest number of charges

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who claimed trial to seven new charges of corruption involving S$4.24mil (about RM12.92mil), is now facing the most corruption charges as the party leader.

The latest charges, which he pleaded not guilty to yesterday at the Sessions Court, made his total charges going up to 54, surpassing his former boss Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib is facing 42 charges and is currently on trial for the first batch of offences involving misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

According to the charge sheets, the former deputy prime minister allegedly received S$300,000; S$300,000; S$1.04mil; S$1.04mil; S$520,000; S$520,000; S$520,000 from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd as a reward for him to extend the company’s contract as the operator of a one-stop centre (OSC) in China and Sistem Visa Luar Negara (VLN).

Ahmad Zahid, 66, was charged in his capacity as the Home Minister then.

He is accused of committing offences at the deputy prime minister’s official residence at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya between March 28, 2017 and March 2, 2018.

Still smiling: (From left) Foong and Ahmad Zahid arriving at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex in Jalan Duta.

The offences were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

Ahmad Zahid faces a maximum jail time of 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if he is convicted.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar suggested a bail of RM200,000 in one surety.

“The accused also need to surrender his passport,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Kitson Foong did not object to the amount but said his client already surrendered his passport to the court during his previous corruption charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi.

Judge Azura Alwi fixed bail at RM200,000 and set July 31 for mention.

The Bagan Datok MP posted bail.

Ahmad Zahid arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex around 8.30am with his daughter Datuk Nurulhidayah and son-in-law Datuk Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff.Najib was seen greeting Ahmad Zahid in the courtroom before leaving the court complex at 9.25am.

MACC chief Latheefa Koya sat at the front row of the public gallery during the proceedings.

Ahmad Zahid is expected to face 33 more charges at the Shah Alam Sessions Court over the same VLN scandal today, making this a total court of 87 charges.

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