KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court of Shah Alam erred when reaching a finding related to the giving and receiving of money in bribery when acquitting Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from 40 charges in the Foreign Visa System (VLN) case and the one-stop center, three months ago.
The prosecution is of the opinion that the trial judge erred when he rejected the evidence of the element of accepting bribes or the element of obtaining valuables without compensation from Ultra Kirana Sdn. Bhd. (UKSB), although there is strong oral and documented evidence to prove it.
According to the prosecution, the judge also misdirected himself when rejecting the testimony about sending bribes to the Deputy Prime Minister when comparing the facts between the case and the hybrid solar case faced by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The prosecution as the appellant was aggrieved by the decision and pleaded for the Court of Appeal to set aside the decision of the High Court which released and acquitted Ahmad Zahid and further summoned him to defend himself against all the charges.
That is part of the 14 reasons contained in the appeal petition filed by the prosecution, yesterday.
The prosecution appealed the decision of Judge Datuk Mohd. Yazid Mustafa who acquitted the UMNO President of 40 charges of accepting bribes from a company to continue contracts related to the VLN system and one-stop centers in China.
Ahmad Zahid was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister for the second time after Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was elected to lead the Unity Government following the 15th General Election (GE15).
Another reason is that the trial judge erred in terms of facts and law when he reached the conclusion that the testimony of the 17th prosecution witness was an afterthought simply because the evidence related to the handing over of RM3 million was not stated in the written statement of the witness.
The prosecution also stated that the judge erred when he failed to take into account that the prosecution witnesses did not have any malicious or ulterior motives when testifying regarding the giving and delivery of cash to Ahmad Zahid.
The judge also erred when he ruled that the charges were flawed because they did not contain details about the identity of the individuals who handed over the money to Ahmad Zahid, while the requirement for such details is not provided for in the law.
On September 23, the High Court released and acquitted Ahmad Zahid of 40 charges of receiving bribes from the UKSB company in relation to the One Stop Center (OSC) operator contract in China and the VLN system.
Ahmad Zahid was acquitted without being called to defend himself from all the main charges and optional charges in accordance with Section 16 (a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009/Section 165 of the Penal Code.
Judge Mohd. Yazid was satisfied that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against Ahmad Zahid.
Ahmad Zahid, 69, was charged with 33 charges of accepting a bribe of S$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as Home Minister at the time, to extend the company’s contract as OSC operator in China and VLN.
For the other seven charges, Ahmad Zahid was charged with obtaining for himself cash of S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss Francs and US$15,000 from UKSB which was related to his official duties at the time.
All the offenses were allegedly committed in Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018. – MESSENGER
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