Zahid unwell, corruption trial postponed

SHAH ALAM: The trial of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 40 corruption charges in connection with the Foreign Visa System (VLN) scheduled for yesterday and today (today and tomorrow), has been vacated as the former deputy prime minister was unwell.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran told reporters that High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa made the decision in chambers following a request by the defence.

She said the trial was set to resume on Feb 3 next year.

Other dates set for the trial are March 7 and 8, April 10 to 13, May 17 to 20, May 30 and 31, and June 13 to 16.

The court also set July 25 to 29 for oral and written submissions, and Aug 24 for decision.

So far, five prosecution witnesses had testified, while former Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Alwi Ibrahim, 62, is still under cross-examination.

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

On seven other charges, Ahmad Zahid was charged, in his capacity as Home Minister then, for accepting S$1,150,000, RM3,000,000, €15,000 and US$15,000 without consideration from the same company which he knew had a connection with his official function. — Bernama

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