- Advertisement -

Zahid's VLN case a clear example of selective prosecution, defence tells court

His lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik says selective prosecution is inherently discriminatory.

2 minute read
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's defence team told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that the former deputy prime minister's 40 charges of receiving bribes in connection with the foreign visa system (VLN) were a clear case of selective prosecution with no prima facie.

Zahid’s lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the court and law could not condone selective prosecution which is inherently discriminatory.

"It is the prosecution’s version that the accused received money as he was a home minister (then), therefore providing a nexus between the money and the extension of the VLN contract.

"It is also the prosecution’s version that the accused received political donations with no strings attached (the receipts of political donations)," he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution's case.

Hisyam said the prosecution also failed to act fairly, resulting in the infringement of Zahid’s rights under Articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution.

"In short, the accused did not have a fair trial, occasioned by the prosecution’s failure to act fairly, and the receipts of political donations are not unlawful," he said.

He also claimed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin, Khairy Jamaluddin, Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Hishammuddin Hussein, Shafie Apdal, Anifah Aman, Sharil Sufian Hamdan, Chan Kong Choy and Ong Ka Chuan had also received funds from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), directly or through proxies.

Hisyam asked the prosecution why "these politicians" were not called as witnesses or offered as witnesses to the defence.

"Why were ‘these politicians’ not charged? Why did the public prosecutor charge only the accused when all of the above were similarly circumstanced, in that they all received political donations?" he said.

He also said that three witnesses – UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and two former UKSB directors, namely Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani – the 15th, 16th and 18th prosecution witness respectively, were untrustworthy and dishonest with zero credibility.

"The combined evidence of these three witnesses is that money was also paid to ‘these politicians’... On the issue of the source of the funds, the evidence from the prosecution is that the funds did not come from UKSB. Among the gang of three (Lee, Tan and Wan Quoris Shah) there are also material contradictions or material omissions," he said.

Zahid, 69, faces 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the OSC service in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain the contract agreement to supply the VLN integrated system to the same company by the home ministry.

On the other seven counts, he was charged with obtaining for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company which had official links with his official duty.

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

The prosecution will start its submissions before judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa on Sept 5.