Thursday, January 20, 2022

Twice delayed, Zahid’s corruption trial to resume on Aug 25

The former deputy prime minister is facing 40 charges in connection with the foreign visa system.

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After being postponed twice due to the movement control order, the trial of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for 40 corruption charges in connection with the foreign visa system (VLN) will finally resume at the High Court in Shah Alam on Aug 25.

Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran when contacted said the trial of the former deputy prime minister would be held for three days, on Aug 25 as well as on Sept 1 and 2 before judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa.

“The prosecution will call two or three witnesses to testify on Aug 25,” she said.

Zahid, 68, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and then-home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the one-stop centre 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.

He allegedly committed the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya and in Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.

The charges, framed under Section 16 (a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24(1) of the same act, provide a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

For the other seven charges, Zahid was charged as home minister with 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 home minister.

He was charged with committing the offences at a house in Country Heights between June 2015 and October 2017, under Section 165 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail term of two years, a fine, or both upon conviction.

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