Prima facie case proved against Zahid, prosecution says in submission

“Even though the defence is saying the money is a political donation, it was not paid to his political party”

(FMT) – The money, including those in foreign currencies, that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi received from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) was in the performance of a public duty as a minister, the High Court heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob said Zahid, as the home minister, received the money as gratification for himself.

“Even though the defence is saying the money is a political donation, it was not paid to his political party,” he said.

Zahid was also an Umno vice-president and the acting Umno deputy president between 2014 and 2018 when the money was received.

Malik said UKSB had never paid the money into Umno’s account nor obtained receipts for payments.

“The accused also did not refuse or ask for the money to be taken away when they were handed to him,” he said in his submission at the close of the prosecution case.

Malik said then UKSB directors Harry Lee and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani met Zahid several times in 2013 after the 13th general election.

“The discussions started at UKSB’s business and later about politics. The accused indicated he needed assistance from them,” he said.

For example, he said, Zahid suggested he needed cash in Singaporean dollars.

He said it was Lee and Wan Quoris who decided to pay S$200,000, S$300,000 and S$520,0000 to Zahid on a monthly basis.

“Lee confirmed the payments while another UKSB staff (former administrative manager David Tan) kept track of the payments in a ledger,” he said.

Malik said it was mostly Lee and Wan Quoris who delivered the money at Zahid’s house at Country Heights in Kajang, or at the deputy prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya, after 10pm.

“These witnesses were telling the truth as the meeting took place,” he said, adding that Lee, Tan and Wan Quoris were credible witnesses.

He said the defence branded the three as accomplices but their evidence could be accepted under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

“They are credible, believable and trustworthy. They answered all questions honestly and candidly.” he said, adding that it was minor and immaterial if there were any contradictions in their testimonies.

He maintained that the prosecution have established a prima facie case against Zahid as the ingredients of the charge have been satisfied.

Zahid, who is the Bagan Datuk MP, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as the then home minister to extend the firm’s contract as the operator of the one-stop centre in China and the foreign visa (VLN) system as well as to maintain the contract agreement for the supply of the VLN integrated system.

Zahid, who is now the Umno president, is also accused of another seven counts of obtaining for himself S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official duties.

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

The hearing before judge Yazid Mustafa continues.