Court fixes date for Zahid’s bid to transfer case to KL Sessions Court

Court fixes date for Zahid’s bid to transfer case to KL Sessions Court

SHAH ALAM: The Sessions Court has set Sept 17 to hear a notice of motion filed by the prosecution to transfer former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s case involving 33 corruption charges to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Judge Rozilah Salleh fixed the date after the prosecution requested an adjournment of yesterday’s proceedings as they were awaiting a decision on a review application that was filed last week at the Kuala Lumpur High Court and which had set Aug 28 for hearing.

The court initially set yesterday to hear the prosecution’s request to transfer the case to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Gan Peng Kun said the review application was over the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court decision, made last July 31, in allowing seven more corruption charges against Zahid to be transferred to the Shah Alam Court.

“I request that the hearing of the notice of motion, which has been fixed for today, to be postponed until a decision is made on the review application (pertaining to the seven charges),” he added.

The defence, represented by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, did not object to it.

Rozilah also maintained Zahid’s bail at RM200, 000.

On June 27, Zahid, 66, pleaded not guilty to 33 charges of corruptly receiving RM42.76mil from a company, in relation to Malaysia’s foreign visa system (VLN).

For 26 charges under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, the Umno president was accused of accepting S$9, 320, 000 (about RM27, 996, 682) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd.

The bribe was allegedly an inducement for him as the then Home Minister to extend the company’s contract as a VLN one-stop centre in China and to maintain an agreement with the company to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia.

Zahid was charged with committing the offences at Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and July 2017.

The charges are framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24(1) of the same act, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10, 000, whichever is higher.

For the seven other charges, Zahid was charged in his capacity as a civil servant of corruptly accepting S$1.15mil (RM3.48mil), RM3, 000, 000, €£15, 000 (RM70, 447) and US$15, 000 (RM63, 000) in cash from the same company which had a connection with his functions as the then Home Minister.

He allegedly committed the offences, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, between June 2015 and October 2017.

Zahid faces an imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, the seven charges filed against Zahid at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court were read out to him again at yesterday’s proceedings and he again maintained his not guilty plea.

The charges were for allegedly receiving a total of S$4.24mil (RM12.74mil) from Ultra Kirana to extend the company’s contract as the one stop centre in China and for the VLN system.

The offences were allegedly committed at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, between March 28, 2017 and March 2, 2018.

The charges, under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 (1) of the same act, carry a maximum jail term of 20 years and fine of RM10, 000 or five times the amount of the bribe, whichever is higher, on conviction.

Bernama