SHAH ALAM, Sept 6 — Evidence has overwhelmingly shown Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi knowingly exceeded his official functions as a home minister in return for cash payments from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), prosecutors told the High Court in his corruption trial today.
In the oral submission following the close of the prosecution’s case, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran highlighted the documentary and oral evidence establishing knowledge on Ahmad Zahid’s part about UKSB’s working relationship with the Home Ministry (KDN) in relation to the government’s award of a foreign visa system (VLN) contract.
Raja Rozela further said this was a pertinent fact that was not disputed by the defence involving official papers and correspondences pertaining to UKSB’s contracts with KDN that bore the accused’s handwritten notes and minutes.
“His (Ahmad Zahid’s) authorship was never challenged. He minuted them, so, he must have read the contents of the minit ceraian (file minutes) and must have known it involved UKSB as it made reference to the VLN contract.
“It is also useful to note that the defence did not dispute the admissibility of these letters which bore the accused’s hand-written instructions to KDN senior officers specifying the necessary action to be taken,” the DPP said.
Based on the aforementioned documentary evidence, Raja Rozela said it was pertinent Ahmad Zahid was hands-on in the decision-making process with regards to UKSB’s contracts.
“The prosecution submits that based on the official documents and letters as described above, the accused’s knowledge can be clearly gleaned from his direct involvement with UKSB in almost every aspect of the process that eventually led to the award of the contracts.
“The letters which bore his minutes and signatures are concrete proof of that knowledge,” she said before High Court judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa.
As for oral evidence, Raja Rozela said Ahmad Zahid had met with key UKSB figures for discussions about the visa application system at his private residence in what can be seen as preferential treatment towards the contractor.
“The accused’s unwavering support for UKSB is clearly reflected in the multiple visits UKSB had made to his home,” she said.
She then cited the testimonies of former UKSB director Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani who testified without hesitation that Ahmad Zahid had always been supportive of UKSB whenever the company required help in light of the business relationship shared between both parties.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the One Stop Centres in China and the VLN system as well as to maintain the agreement to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the Home Ministry.
Ahmad Zahid was charged with another seven counts as home minister who obtained S$1.15 million, RM3 million, CHF15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company for himself in connection with his official work.
He is accused of committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.