Crime & Courts

Zahid ordered extension of eVisa contract, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi instructed his former senior private secretary to issue a cover letter for an extension of Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) Overseas Visa System (VLN) and eVisa contract for six years since 2019, the High Court heard today.

Datuk Muhd Khair Razman Mohamed Annuar who is the ninth prosecution witness said the Umno president instructed him to issue the letter to the Home Ministry secretary general on Feb 14, 2017.

"In the letter, Zahid had minuted - Home Ministry is satisfied with UKSB's services, please extend VLN & eVisa contract for six years until 2025," he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Zander Lim Wai Keong.

On Dec 22, last year, former Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Alwi Ibrahim when testified as the sixth prosecution witness, said he was not satisfied with Zahid's decision in extending UKSB's contract as it was too early to do so.

Khair testified that the former deputy prime minister also instructed him to issue two more cover letters to the Home Ministry secretary-general on May 16 and June 16, 2017.

He said the letter dated May 16 is for an application to extend the One Stop Centre (OSC) service contract for Visa Facilities in China for six years, while the letter dated June 16 on the proposed extension of the service contract for three years starting May 15, 2018.

The trial before judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues tomorrow.

Zahid, 69, who is Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament, pleaded not guilty to 33 charges of receiving SGD 13.46 million from UKSB as an inducement to extend the company's contract as the operator of a 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.

He is also facing another seven charges for accepting SGD1,150,000, RM3,000,000, €15,000 and USD15,000 in cash from the same company which he knew had connection with his function as then Home Minister.

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