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Court to decide on Sept 23 whether to free Zahid in VLN graft case

Otherwise, the former home minister will be told to enter his defence against the 40 charges against him.

2 minute read
Former home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Former home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Shah Alam High Court will decide on Sept 23 on whether to free former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or order him to enter his defence against 40 charges of receiving bribes in connection with the foreign visa system (VLN).

High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa set the date today after hearing the submissions by both parties at the end of the prosecution's case.

He also thanked the prosecution and the defence for their oral submissions.

The prosecution was represented by deputy public prosecutors Raja Rozela Raja Toran, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Abdul Malik Ayob, Zander Lim Wai Keong and B Thavani. Zahid was represented by lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hamidi Mohd Noh.

The prosecution closed its case on Aug 11 after calling 18 witnesses, including former home ministry secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim and three former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) directors: Harry Lee Vui Khiun, Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani and David Tan Siong Sun.

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 is 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.