Malaysian govt appeals against acquittal of Umno chief Zahid in graft case

On Sept 23, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted Datuk Seri Zahid (centre) of all 40 graft charges. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) on Monday filed a notice of appeal in the graft case involving Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who was acquitted of 40 corruption charges last week.

A source who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that the notice was filed at 4.40pm on Monday in the foreign visa system case.

On Friday, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted Datuk Seri Zahid, a former deputy prime minister and home minister, of all 40 graft charges.

Trial judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa held that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Mr Zahid and made the order for a discharge and acquittal.

Among the main reasons the prosecution's case against Ahmad Zahid failed was because the three main witnesses lacked credibility, the judge said.

Mr Zahid, 69, was accused of receiving bribes to extend a contract to private company Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd to operate a one-stop visa processing centre service in China for foreign workers and the wider visa system involving the Home Ministry.

The witnesses were former Ultra Kirana administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun, and its former directors Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

The court also doubted the credibility of a ledger - which was tendered as evidence - as there was some missing data regarding the inflow and outflow of funds allegedly delivered to Ahmad Zahid.

Justice Mohd Yazid also said the prosecution failed to bring forward witnesses who had directly passed the alleged corruption monies to Mr Zahid, as showing the court the ledger alone was insufficient.

Mr Zahid was charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from Ultra Kirana amounting to S$13.56 million between 2014 and 2017.

Another seven charges accused him of obtaining S$1.15 million, RM3.125 million about S$1 million) and smaller amounts in Swiss francs and United States dollars from the same company.

Mr Zahid still faces a separate trial for criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving his personal charity, Yayasan Akalbudi.


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