SHAH ALAM, Aug 11 ― A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator today disagreed with the defence team in Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's foreign visa system (VLN) contract corruption trial that the prosecution against the former home minister was politically motivated and selectively conducted.
MACC senior enforcer V. Mahendran, who is also the 18th prosecution witness and investigating officer assigned to the case, made the assertion under cross-examination by defence lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal.
Ahmad Zaidi: I am putting it to you Mr. Mahendran, that the prosecution against Datuk Seri Zahid is driven by selective prosecution, agree or disagree?
Ahmad Zaidi: I am putting it to you that the prosecution against Datuk Seri Zahid is politically motivated prosecution, agree or disagree?
Ahmad Zaidi then further cross-examined the witness on whether those named in a ledger UKSB owned for bookkeeping purposes on cash payments made by UKSB to various politicians, government staff and Ahmad Zahid himself have been called for questioning.
The lawyer earlier cited a remark issued by MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki as reported in the media last month that the agency has already called up certain individuals for their statements to be recorded.
Mahendran, however, replied that he was not informed about the matter.
Among those named in the ledger as recipients of cash payment included former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, current Cabinet ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican; former Cabinet ministers Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Tan Sri Ong Ka Chuan and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy; and Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan.
Still under cross-examination, Mahendran also said other high-profile individuals who allegedly received financial contributions named in the ledger were not disclosed to prosecutors during various briefings held as they were unrelated to the case he was assigned to.
The witness also disagreed with the defence suggestion that there was no other documentary evidence supporting the charges filed against Ahmad Zahid except those of the ledger and witness testimonies of those from UKSB.
Another defence lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh also put it to the witness and the incomplete nature of the investigation since those named in the ledger were not probed for alleged wrongdoings.
Mahendran replied in the negative.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the OSCs 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.
Ahmad Zahid was charged with another seven counts as home minister who obtained S$1.15 million, RM3 million, S₣15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company for himself in connection with his official work.
He is accused of committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.