Zahid pleads not guilty to another amended charge

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SHAH ALAM – Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pleaded not guilty at the High Court here today to another amended charge of corruption over the Foreign Visa System (VLN).

Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa ordered the amended charge to be read out to Ahmad Zahid, 69, after allowing Deputy Public Prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob’s application to amend the third charge, which involved the change of currency from 15,000 in Euro to 15,000 in Swiss Franc.

As soon as the amended charge was read out to him through an interpreter, Zahid made the plea of not guilty.

According to the amended charge, Zahid was charged as the Home Minister with obtaining for himself a valuable thing namely cash of 15,000 in Swiss Franc from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), which he knew had a connection with his official functions.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at No. 389, Jalan Bayu Nyaman, Country Heights, Kajang in May 2016.

The amended charge, framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, carries an imprisonment of up to two years, or with a fine or with both, if convicted.

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 Centre (OSC) 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.

For another seven counts, Zahid was charged as home minister to have obtained for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.

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

The trial before Judge Mohd Yazid continues. – BERNAMA

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