SHAH ALAM, Sept 7 — The prosecution in Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s foreign visa trial has today insisted cash payments from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to the former deputy prime minister did not materialise “out of the sky” as lawyers representing him sought to dispute the funds’ source.
During oral submissions at the close of the prosecution’s case at the High Court, defence lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh had earlier sought to convince the court that the ingredients of the principle and alternative criminal charges against his client were not proven since the funds’ source is disputed.
Hamidi had earlier argued that evidence adduced in court by the prosecution showed that money paid to Ahmad Zahid did not originate from UKSB, but from UKSB’s business associate in Hong Kong instead.
He said since no witness from UKSB’s Hong Kong associate had come to court to testify as to the fund’s actual source, the 33 charges under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act should therefore fail after the element of the charge was not proven.
In response, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the monies from UKSB were indeed sourced from the company’s associates in Hong Kong and that the element of the fund’s source need not to be proven by the prosecution.
“Our witnesses did not lie. UKSB said themselves they did not have the funds, and therefore, sought help from its business associates in Hong Kong.
“This is confirmed by David Tan Siong Sun (UKSB’s former administrative manager) and the investigating officer himself. There is an agreement between UKSB and parties in Hong Kong, money does not fall out of the sky.
“The court must assess the evidence adduced in that money had been delivered and received.
“He (Ahmad Zahid) should never have asked for the money, and he has no rights in using his position as an administrative member then to obtain them,” she said before trial judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa.
While said witnesses from UKSB’s business associate were offered to the defence in the event Ahmad Zahid is called to defend himself, Hamidi said it was not the defence’s job to prove the case at the current stage.
Hamidi added that the prosecution should have called said witnesses to testify as to the fund’s existence but failed to do so, but instead relied on the testimonies of three UKSB representatives.
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.