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The prosecution in the corruption of former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi closes its case after calling 18 witnesses. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 11, 2022.

THE prosecution in the corruption trial of former deputy prime minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 40 charges over the foreign visa system (VLN), today closed its case after calling 18 witnesses.

Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran, who led the prosecution team, told High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa that the prosecution wrapped up after the 18th witness, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer V. Mahendran, 38, concluded his testimony.

Yazid then ordered the defence to file its written submissions on August 29 and the prosecution on September 5.

The judge also set September 1, 2, 5 to 8 to for oral submissions before deciding whether to acquit or order Zahid to enter his defence.

 “I also take the opportunity to thank the defence and the prosecution for their cooperation that the prosecution was able to conclude today,” he said.

Raja Rozela informed the court that the prosecution had offered 27 witnesses to the defence, including former deputy secretary-general (Control and Enforcement) of the Home Ministry Wahab Mohd Yasin; deputy director-general (Development II) Public Private Partnership Unit Raja Muhammad Azhan Shah Raja Muhammad and MACC officer S. Vijaya Kumar, who is also the complainant in the case.

Earlier, Mahendran, told the court that he did not record the testimony of Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein because there was no witness statements nor information in the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd ledger regarding payments to the politician.

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He said this when cross-examined by lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal on why he did not record Hishammuddin’s testimony, even though the defence minister’s name was on the MACC’s complaint form.

Zaidi: Yesterday, you (Mahendran) told the court that the investigation focused only on Zahid?

Mahendran: Disagree, the focus was on the VLN and OSC (one-stop centre) contracts involving Home Ministry officials and ministers.

The witness said the ministers he was referring to were Hishammuddin and Zahid.

He also disagreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that Zahid only received RM100,000 twice from UKSB and the testimony by the main witnesses in the case cannot be trusted.

The witnesses referred to are former UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and two former UKSB directors, Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

In the trial, which started on May 24, 2021, the prosecution was also represented by Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Abdul Malik Ayob, Zander Lim Wai Keong and B. Thavani while lawyers appearing for Zahid also included Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Hamidi Mohd Noh.

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