Zahid VLN graft trial: Prosecution rests after calling 18th witness

SHAH ALAM: After tendering in 107 exhibits and calling 18 witnesses, the prosecution in Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s graft trial closed its case on Thursday (Aug 11) after the testimony of its 18th and final witness.

Ahmad Zahid was charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) during his tenure as home minister in order to extend the company’s contract to continue operating the one-stop centre in China and the Foreign Visa System (VLN).

The alleged graft was also to ensure that the contract agreement for the supply of the VLN integrated system by the company is maintained.

ALSO READ: Zahid trial: Hishammuddin approved UKSB's application to set up visa one-stop centre for seven years, says witness

While being cross-examined by defence counsel Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, final witness Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer V. Mahendran said he did not call former home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to record the latter’s statement.

He added that he had not done so even though Hishammuddin’s name was in the MACC report which initiated the investigation into the case.

Hishammuddin was the home minister from 2009 to 2013 before Ahmad Zahid assumed the position.

“His statement was not recorded because his name did not appear in former UKSB administration manager David Tan’s ledger.

“My investigations included Hishammuddin but I did not record his statement as there was no evidence of graft,” said Mahendran.

ALSO READ: Zahid VLN graft case: Ex-Home Ministry division secretary received 26,000 Saudi Riyals from ‘Wan Badak’, court told

Ahmad Zaidi also said the former deputy prime minister had only received two payments of RM100,000 each from UKSB to which Mahendran disagreed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Toran told judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa that the prosecution would be calling in 27 witnesses if Ahmad Zahid would be ordered to call his defence.

The court fixed Sept 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 for both the prosecution and defence to make their oral submissions.

The trial started in May 2021.

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