March 18 next year for hearing of prosecution's appeal against Zahid's acquittal in VLN corruption case
PUTRAJAYA - The Court of Appeal has set March 18 next year to hear the prosecution’s appeal against Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s acquittal on 40 charges of corruption in connection with the foreign visa system (VLN) contract.
This date was fixed following case management before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosli today.
The court also fixed Jan 29 next year for parties to update the court with regard to the status of Ahmad Zahid’s representation.
Ahmad Zahid’s counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik confirmed the fixing of the hearing and mention dates, when contacted by Bernama.
He said the hearing will go on if the representation is rejected.
Ahmad Zahid submitted the representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in January this year for the AGC's consideration not to pursue its appeal.
On Sept 23 last year, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted and discharged Ahmad Zahid, who is now deputy prime minister, of all the charges after ruling that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case against him. The prosecution then filed its notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The Umno president had pleaded not guilty to 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of a one-stop centre (OSC) service in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain its contract with the home ministry to supply the VLN integrated system.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also former home minister, was alleged to have committed those offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya and Country Heights, Kajang between October 2014 and March 2018.
He also claimed trial to 33 alternative charges under Section 165 of the Penal Code, where he was charged in his capacity as a home minister with receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million in relation to the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.
For the other seven charges, he was alleged to have obtained for himself cash of S$1,150,000, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company, which he knew had a connection with his official functions.
Ahmad Zahid allegedly committed the offences at a house in Country Heights, Kajang between June 2015 and October 2017.
In its petition of appeal filed on Dec 29 last year, the prosecution submitted 14 reasons focusing on the findings of fact and law made by the High Court judge on the question of whether there was bribery in the giving and receiving of money in the case. - BERNAMA