SHAH ALAM, Sept 1 — Key prosecution witnesses who testified in the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over the award of a foreign visa system (VLN) contract are untrustworthy and have zero credibility, the former home minister’s defence lawyer told the High Court today.
In the defence’s submission following the close of the prosecution’s case, lead counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik described the three prosecution witnesses from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) — a local company implicated in Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial over the award of a VLN contract — as “accomplices of the highest order”.
The three prosecution witnesses were namely former UKSB directors Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani and Harry Lee Vui Khiun, and former UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun.
Hisyam said it was evident that monies from UKSB’s business associates in Hong Kong had entered Malaysia but were not channelled into the company’s bank account; instead, it was kept in a safe box under the supervision of Tan.
The defence lawyer also questioned the need for UKSB to conceal millions of funds coming in from overseas from auditors and regulators, citing the absence of their disclosure in the company’s annual financial statements.
Hisyam then said it was evident that all three witnesses had committed criminal offences under the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust, Income Tax Act for tax evasion and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act for bribery.
He also said the combined evidence of the aforementioned witnesses was that cash payments were also made to other alleged recipients including well-known politicians who have since publicly denied their involvement.
“There is a clear conflict of evidence in view of the public denials. These denials have cut into the credibility of Harry Lee, Wan Quoris and David Tan,” he said during the defence’ soral submission before High Court judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa.
The lawyer also said several testimonial contradictions between the witnesses throughout the trial were also present, further citing five such instances.
One instance was the method of delivery where both Lee and Wan Quoris in their witness statements said cash payments were delivered in an envelope.
This contradicted Tan’s testimony where he said the monies were delivered by way of luggage that was omitted from his witness statement and only discovered later during cross-examination.
Hisyam then concluded his submission by stating his client should be acquitted and discharged since there was no prima facie evidence to sustain the present charges.
Mohd Yazid then called for tomorrow’s hearing to be vacated and for proceedings to resume Monday (September 5), starting with the prosecution’s reply to the defence submission.
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, CHF15,000 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.