Zahid’s MC accepted, graft trial postponed

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here has allowed Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s application to postpone his corruption trial involving the Foreign Visa System (VLN) as he is still on sick leave, but stressed that any other postponement after this will not be allowed.

Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa said the medical certificate (MC) submitted by the defence showed that Ahmad Zahid is on sick leave until Sept 4.

He said the court had also taken judicial notice that Dr Mohd Shahir Anuar from Avisena Specialist Hospital in Shah Alam had appeared before Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah to explain Ahmad Zahid’s medical condition.

“Based on the content of the MC as prima facie evidence, the court accepts that the accused is not fit to return to duty until Sept 4.

“The court appreciates the commitment shown by the accused and asks that the same commitment be continued in the remaining days of the trial,” he added.

The judge then set Sept 28, Oct 22, Nov 18 and 19, and Dec 20 to 24, to resume the trial of the former deputy prime minister who is facing 40 corruption charges in connection with the VLN.

“The court would like to stress and remind all quarters that the dates have been agreed to by all parties involved and we ask for cooperation to enable the hearing to take place as scheduled and that any other postponement will not be allowed,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh (pic) informed the court of his client’s latest medical condition and requested that the proceedings set for yesterday and today be postponed as Ahmad Zahid is still on sick leave.

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin requested the accused obtain a medical certificate from a government hospital.

“If possible, an MC from the Health Ministry or from a government (hospital).

“This is because the MC from some private hospital has a footnote saying that it cannot be used in court proceedings,” he said.

Nevertheless, Wan Shaharuddin thanked Ahmad Zahid for his commitment in attending the proceedings.

Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56mil (RM42mil) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the then Home Minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of One Stop Centre (OSC) in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain the agreement to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the Home Ministry.

On the other seven charges, Ahmad Zahid was charged as Home Minister for accepting S$1,150,000, RM3,000,000, €15,000 (RM75,663) and US$15,000 (RM62,115) in cash from the same company which he knew had a connection with his function as then Home Minister. — Bernama

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