Crime & Courts

[Updated] AGC yet to decide on Zahid's representation letter to review appeal against VLN case

PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) has yet to decide on the representation letter sent by deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to review the prosecution's appeal against his acquittal in the foreign visa system (VLN) case.

Deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob said this at the onset of the case hearing before a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal led by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail today.

Sitting with Hadhariah was Datuk Azman Abdullah and Datuk S.M. Komathy Suppiah.

Malik told the court that at the moment, there was no decision yet on the representation letter.

"The hearing of the appeal is set for March 18, this year," he said.

Justice Hadhariah then asked if the hearing date would be maintained, and Malik replied "yes".

He added they will abide by an earlier instruction and proceed to file submissions before the hearing.

Today's date was set to update the court on Zahid's representation letter.

The defence team representing Zahid was led by counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

In September 2022, Zahid, who is Umno president, was freed by the Shah Alam High Court of all 40 charges of receiving bribes from a company to extend its VLN contract.

Zahid had been accused of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd between 2014 and 2018 as home minister to allow the company to continue their contract for the VLN and a one-stop centre in China.

Zahid was also charged with seven other counts of obtaining S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company.

High Court judge Datuk Yazid Mustafa ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the deputy prime minister.

He said witnesses who testified against Zahid were not credible or trustworthy and their testimony could not be relied on.

Subsequently, on Dec 29, the prosecution filed a petition of appeal against the High Court's ruling by listing 15 grounds why the Appellate Court should reverse Zahid's acquittal and order him to enter his defence.

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