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Friday, December 30, 2022

Zahid’s trial judge wrong to compare facts with Rosmah’s case, says prosecution


Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was acquitted in September of corruption charges after the High Court ruled that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.

PETALING JAYA: The High Court judge who presided over Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s foreign visa (VLN) system corruption trial was wrong to have compared facts with another case, the prosecution said in its petition to challenge the Umno president’s acquittal.

They claimed Justice Yazid Mustafa erred when comparing the facts to those in Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial, adding that the fact scenario alone does not make the case binding precedent.

The comparison was one of several grounds listed in the petition of appeal filed by the prosecution calling for the Court of Appeal to reverse Zahid’s acquittal and order him to enter his defence to answer the charges.

Yazid, they also said, was wrong in his assessment of the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses.

They also said the judge failed to take into consideration a witness testimony that a ledger presented as evidence in court was a “contemporaneous document”.

Yazid had erred, they contended, by deciding that the source of the money used by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to pay Zahid needed to be explained and proven, when there are no such requirements under the law.

On Sept 23, Yazid ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Zahid.

He said three key prosecution witnesses in the case were unreliable and not credible.

He also said their luxurious lifestyles and ownership of expensive property and vehicles gave credence to an inference that the alleged bribe money could have been distributed among the trio.

Zahid, 69, had been accused of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB between 2014 and 2018 while he was home minister and deputy prime minister under the former Barisan Nasional administration.

Zahid was also charged with seven other counts of obtaining for himself the sums of S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official duties. - FMT

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