Ahmad Zahid received gratification for himself, DPP tells court

SHAH ALAM: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's graft trial was told the former deputy prime minister received gratification for himself, with none of the money going to Umno.

Deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob said the monies were delivered by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) officers to Ahmad Zahid personally but never went into Umno’s account although the payments were said to be political contributions.

"Although the defence is saying the money is a political donation, it was not paid to his party.

"UKSB also never put the money into Umno's account nor had it obtained receipts for the payments. The accused also did not refuse or ask for the money to be taken away when they were handed to him," he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution's case at the High Court here on Monday (Sept 5).

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Abdul Malik said the evidence from three key witnesses comprising former UKSB directors VK Lee and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, and UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun, the 15th, 16th and 17th prosecution witnesses respectively, were consistent concerning delivery of the monies to Ahmad Zahid.

"Lee and Wan Quoris Shah were in agreement when they testified that the accused never indicated the amount to be contributed, only the fact that the accused indicated that the contributions must be made in cash and in Singapore dollars.

"They also concurred that delivery of the monies were made at Country Heights, Kajang or Seri Satria, Putrajaya and at night after 10pm. They were also able to describe the accused’s private or official residences and where the deliveries took place in the residences,” he said.

Meanwhile, DPP Zander Lim Wai Keong submitted on the defence complaint that the public prosecutor had acted unfairly, was biased and adopting selective prosecution against the accused.

"The question to be considered by the court is whether the accused’s right to a fair trial has been infringed upon or not," he said.

Lim said Ahmad Zahid was represented by a very competent legal team, given the right to cross-examine all the prosecution witnesses and to put up their defence during the prosecution’s case, as well as given a reasonable time frame to file their written submission.

"The accused was also given the right to submit the defence orally at the close of the prosecution’s case and without a doubt, this case is heard before My Lord who is independent and impartial,” he said.

Lim also submitted that there was no violation of the accused’s rights under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution.

"The charge faced by the accused is not discriminatory in nature, the accused is given the same procedural rights for relief and for defence just like any other accused in a criminal trial without discrimination.

"The accused is entitled to put forward ... his defence including examination of the prosecution’s witnesses,” he added.

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Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56mil from UKSB for himself as the home minister at the time to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the one-stop centre service in China and the Foreign Visa System (VLN), as well as to maintain the contract agreement to supply the VLN integrated system to the same company by the Home Ministry.

On a further seven counts, he is charged with obtaining for himself S$1,150,000, RM3mil, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company which has official links with his official duty.

He is charged with committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang between October 2014 and March 2018.

The prosecution will continue its submission before judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa on Tuesday (Sept 6). – Bernama

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