Ahmad Zahid’s VLN case - A clear case of selective prosecution, says defence

01 Sep 2022 04:18pm
The prosecution will start its submission before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa on Monday (5 Sept).  - Bernama Photo
The prosecution will start its submission before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa on Monday (5 Sept). - Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's defence team told the High Court here today that the 40 charges of receiving bribes in connection with the Foreign Visa System (VLN) made against the former deputy prime minister were a clear case of selective prosecution and with no prima facie.

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

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

"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 ailed to act fairly, consequently resulting in Ahmad Zahid’s rights under Articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution being infringed.

"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 Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Khairy Jamaluddin, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Sharil Sufian Hamdan, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and Tan Sri Ong Ka Chuan also received fund from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) directly or through proxies.

Hisyam questioned the prosecution, on why ‘these politicians’ were not called as witnesses nor were they offered as witnesses to the defence.

"Why were ‘these politicians’ not charged? Why did the public prosecutor charge only the accused when all the above were similarly circumstanced, in that they all received political donations?” he said.
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He also said three witnesses, comprising UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and two former UKSB directors, namely, Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, who are the 15th, 1th and 18th prosecution witness respectively, are untrustworthy, dishonest with zero credibility.

"The combined evidence of these three witnesses is that monies were 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 (Harry Lee, David Tan and Wan Quoris Shah) there are also material contradictions or material omissions,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to SG$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as Home Minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of 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 another seven counts, he was charged with obtaining for himself SG$1,150,000, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss Franc and US$15,000 from the same company which has official links with his official duty.

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

The prosecution will start its submission before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa on Monday (5 Sept). - BERNAMA