KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 30): The prosecution is aggrieved over the High Court’s decision to acquit Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from all 40 charges of receiving bribes in connection with the Foreign Visa System (VLN).
In its petition of appeal filed on Thursday (Dec 29), the prosecution submitted 14 reasons focused on the findings of fact and law made by Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa on the question of whether there was bribery in the giving and receiving of money in the case.
The prosecution claimed that Mohd Yazid erred in terms of facts and law when he ruled that it (the prosecution) had failed to prove a prima facie case and failed to comprehensively assess evidence given to prove every element of the charges faced by Ahmad Zahid.
“The judge had erred after he rejected proof of the element of accepting bribes and the element of obtaining valuables without any favour in return from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) when there was sufficient and solid oral evidence and documents to prove it," the prosecution said in its bid to set aside the court's decision on Sept 23.
The prosecution also stated that the judge misdirected himself when rejecting the evidence regarding the delivery of bribes to Ahmad Zahid when comparing the facts between the case and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's bribery case regarding the hybrid solar project.
The prosecution claimed that the judge erred in assessing the credibility of the prosecution witnesses when he failed to take into account that they had no malicious or hidden motives when giving evidence about giving or sending money to the deputy prime minister.
“The trial judge erred when he rejected the testimony of prosecution witnesses not only on weak and unreasonable grounds, but also took into account irrelevant evidence, which was never presented, and also made conclusions based on fabricated doubts.
“The judge erred when he failed to take into account the testimony of the prosecution witness that a ledger presented as evidence was a current document and rejected it completely even though there was sufficient evidence to prove otherwise,” the prosecution claimed.
The prosecution's appeal is set for case management on Jan 10 at the Court of Appeal.
On Sept 23, Mohd Yazid acquitted Ahmad Zahid, who is also Umno president, after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie at the end of the prosecution case against him.
Ahmad Zahid was charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to SG$13.56 million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) for himself as Home Minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the one-stop centre (OSC) service in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain its contract agreement with the Home Ministry for the supply of the VLN integrated system.
On another seven counts, the Bagan Datuk MP was charged with obtaining for himself SG$1,150,000, RM3.125 million, 15,000 Swiss Franc and US$15,000 from the same company which he knew had links with his official function.
He was charged with committing the offences at Seri Satria, Precinct 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights Kajang between October 2014 and March 2018.