ZAHID BACK IN THE RUNNING TO BE PM – AFTER SHOCK DECISION BY COURT TO ACQUIT HIM OF ALL BRIBERY CHARGES IN FOREIGN VISA CASE – BUT AKALBUDI CASE CAN STILL SEND HIM TO JOIN NAJIB IN KAJANG PRISON!

Zahid acquitted of all bribery charges in VLN case

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been acquitted of all graft charges in relation to the Foreign Visa System (VLN).

Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa today ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case and its three key witnesses were unreliable.

The witnesses were former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and former UKSB directors Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

As a result, the court also declined to accept the UKSB ledger as convincing evidence after finding its creator, Tan, had zero credibility.

“In order to establish a prima facie case, the court has to assess the credibility and reliability of the witnesses.

“I find that the evidence of the key prosecution witnesses – Tan, Lee and Wan Quoris – were not credible, not trustworthy, or believable.

“I, therefore, find that there should be no weightage given to the ledger,” Yazid said.

The judge drew the conclusion after he found the prosecution failed to prove the foremost important element in all charges levelled against Zahid, including the receipt of corrupt monies.

He said that no other authority, external or internal auditor, knew about the alleged graft monies given to Zahid.

“Upon exercise of the maximum evaluation of the evidence in totality, I find that the prosecution has failed to make out a prima facie case on all charges,” he added.

Zahid, who was clad in a cream baju melayu, arrived in court at about 8.40am accompanied by Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.

40 charges

The former deputy prime minister was charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from UKSB amounting to SG$13.56 million (RM43.6 million) between 2014 and 2017.

Another seven charges accused Zahid of obtaining SG$1.15 million, RM3.125 million, 15,000 Swiss francs (RM70,000) and US$15,000 (RM68,000) from the same company.

Zahid was accused of receiving bribes to extend UKSB’s contract to operate the 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.

The charges were framed under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009, which provides for a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The Bagan Datuk MP also pleaded not guilty 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 SG$13.56 million over the VLN system between 2014 and 2017.

Tan testified that he and Wan Quoris, under Lee’s instruction, had on one occasion delivered RM3 million in a suitcase to Zahid’s residence.

The court was told that Tan made records to show the monthly cash deliveries to Zahid starting from October 2014 to August 2018.

Zahid is still facing a separate trial for criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi.

That trial is in the defence stage.

AG to study Zahid’s acquittal judgment before deciding on appeal

Attorney-General Idrus Harun said the prosecution will have to examine the judgment in Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s acquittal from all graft charges related to the Foreign Visa System (VLN) before deciding on an appeal.

“I will discuss with the prosecution team and study the grounds of decision of the learned judge first,” Idrus said, as reported by Free Malaysia Today.

This comes shortly after Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa today ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case and its three key witnesses were unreliable.

The witnesses were former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and former UKSB directors Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

“Upon exercise of the maximum evaluation of the evidence in totality, I find that the prosecution has failed to make out a prima facie case on all charges,” Yazid said in his judgment.

Zahid was charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from UKSB amounting to SG$13.56 million (RM43.6 million) between 2014 and 2017.

Another seven charges accused the Bagan Datuk MP of obtaining SG$1.15 million, RM3.125 million, 15,000 Swiss francs (RM70,000) and US$15,000 (RM68,000) from the same company.

Zahid was accused of receiving bribes to extend UKSB’s contract to operate the 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.

The charges were framed under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009, which provides for a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Zahid is still facing a separate trial for criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi.

That trial is in the defence stage.

MKINI

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