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Seventh heaven or elsewhere, source of money for Zahid not the point, court told

The prosecution says the court only needs to consider the proof provided that Zahid had solicited the money when he had no right to use his position as a minister to obtain it.

3 minute read
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama

The source of money allegedly given to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) needs not be proven, whether it came from the seventh heaven or elsewhere, the Shah Alam High Court was told yesterday.

Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran said confirmation of the source of money was not an element that needed to be proven by the prosecution. Instead, Raja Rozela said, the court needed to consider the proof provided that Zahid had solicited the money when he had no right to use his position as a minister to obtain it.

She said the main prosecution witnesses were former UKSB directors – Harry Lee Vui Khiun, Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani and David Tan Siong Sun – who had stated that the source of the money was the agreement reached between UKSB and companies in Hong Kong and Labuan.

"Our witnesses (Lee, Wan Quoris Shah and Tan) were not lying but admitted that UKSB had no money and hence needed help from its business friends in Hong Kong.

"We have shown that there was an agreement with the business friends in Hong Kong and this was confirmed by Tan and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer, V Mahendran.
"That is not the point to consider seriously, whether or not the money came from the seventh heaven or not," Raja Rozela added in her submission at the end of the prosecution’s case.

Earlier, Zahid’s counsel Hamidi Mohd Noh questioned UKSB’s source of the money given to the Umno president as no representatives of the Hong Kong companies had been called to give evidence.

"The 15th, 16th and 17th witnesses (Lee, Wan Quoris Shah and Tan) said that the money given was not from UKSB. So where did the money came from? If the sources were companies in Hong Kong, witnesses from there should be called to confirm the matter, including the sum of money.

"The company directors should be called to testify. They need to prove that the sum of money exists or not. This is basic. What we have now are only testimonies from three prosecution witnesses.

"If the source is not proven, how are we to state that the money exists? In this case, there are no indications to state that the money exists. There have been no statements from Hong Kong," he said.

The prosecution had offered 27 witnesses including the directors of a number of companies in Hong Kong such as Maintech System HK Limited director Chong Kian Leong @ Raymond and VisaMalaysia Limited director Fong Mee Yee.

High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa has set Sept 23 for a decision on whether Zahid will be ordered to make his defence against 40 corruption charges or if he will be freed of the charges.

The prosecution team comprised Raja Rozela, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Abdul Malik Ayob, Zander Lim Wai Keong and B Thavani while Zahid was represented by counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hamidi.

Zahid faces 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the home minister at the time to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the one-stop centres 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.

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 is accused of committing the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.