VLN Trial: Zahid Hamidi Freed Of All 40 Charges

The Shah Alam High Court ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Zahid

SHAH ALAM — The High Court here today acquitted and discharged Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on all 40 charges of receiving bribes from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to extend its foreign visa system (VLN) contract.

Judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the former deputy prime minister.

Zahid, 69, had been accused of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to SGD13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as the then home minister to extend the firm’s contract as the operator of a one-stop centre in China and the VLN system as well as to maintain a contract for the supply of the VLN integrated system.

The Bagan Datuk MP was also charged with seven other counts of obtaining for himself SGD1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and USD15,000 from UKSB in connection with his official duties.

Zahid was charged with committing the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights Kajang between October 2014 and March 2018.

The Barisan Nasional chairman still faces 35 other charges in the Kuala Lumpur High Court for money laundering and criminal breach of trust involving millions from Yayasan Akalbudi. — NMH

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