Further case management on May 12 in Zahid’s VLN case

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed May 12 for further case management of the prosecution's appeal against Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's acquittal of 40 corruption charges in connection with the foreign visa (VLN) system.

A case management of the appeal was conducted today (March 31) before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Dr Syahliza Warnoh.

Ahmad Zahid's lawyers had submitted a representation in January this year asking the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to consider discontinuing the prosecution's appeal.

The prosecution filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal on Sept 26 last year against the Shah Alam High Court's decision to acquit and discharge Ahmad Zahid, who is now deputy prime minister, of all the charges after ruling that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case against him.

The Umno president pleaded not guilty to 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56mil from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd for himself as then 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 its contract with the Home Ministry to supply the VLN integrated system.

According to the charge sheet, Ahmad Zahid was alleged to have committed those offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.

He also claimed trial to 33 alternative charges under Section 165 of the Penal Code, where he was charged in his capacity as then home minister with receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56mil, in relation to the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.

For the other seven charges, he was alleged to have obtained for himself cash of S$1,150,000, RM3mil, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company, which he knew had a connection with his official functions.

Ahmad Zahid was charged with allegedly committing the offences at a house in Country Heights, Kajang, between June 2015 and October 2017.

In its petition of appeal filed on Dec 29 last year, the prosecution submitted 14 reasons focusing on the findings of fact and law made by the High Court judge on the question of whether there was bribery in the giving and receiving of money in the case. - Bernama

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