Foreign visa system trial: Impossible for Ultra Kirana to pay out bribes based on company’s existing after-tax profit and cash reserves, court told

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

SHAH ALAM, June 13 — It would be impossible for Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to make any cash payments for the purpose of bribery or gratification based on the company’s audited account between 2014 and 2018, the High Court heard during Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s foreign visa system (VLN) corruption trial today.

Defence lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh made the assertion during cross-examination of former UKSB director Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, based on UKSB’s after-tax profit and cash in hand recorded in its 2014-2018 financial statements which were produced in court as evidence.

In today’s hearing, Hamidi cited UKSB’s financial statement from 2014 where the company only recorded a profit of around RM625,000 after tax with around RM1.5 million cash in hand.

This was followed by a profit of around RM114,000 with RM2.8 million cash in hand in 2015; RM4.9 million roughly in profit and RM4.6 million cash in hand in 2016, RM2.8 million roughly in profit and RM3.9 million cash in hand 2017; and roughly RM351,000 in profit and RM1.3 million cash in hand in 2018.

When cross-examined, Wan Quoris Shah, the prosecution’s 16th witness, concurred with Hamidi’s assertion that UKSB was not in a financial position to make such payments.

Hamidi also told the court these financial statements were not part of the documents given to the defence as required under Section 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code to prepare their case, adding that they were provided by another UKSB director and prosecution witness Datuk Fadzil Ahmad.

Previously, former UKSB director Harry Lee Vui Khiun, who was also the prosecution’s 15th witness, testified that cash payments were made to Ahmad Zahid for the purpose of political donations.

Lee had also told the court that cash money in the form of Singapore dollars amounting to between S$200,000 and S$520,000 was delivered to Ahmad Zahid personally on a monthly basis from 2014 to 2018.

In his witness statement, Lee had testified that the monthly cash payments to Ahmad Zahid were logged in the ledger owned by former UKSB’s administrative manager David Tan.

However, Lee also admitted that the ledger’s fund source proceeds derived from its subcontractor in Hong Kong appointed to implement the VLN on UKSB’s behalf were used to pay out the various individuals named in the ledger but was never entered UKSB’s bank account.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of accepting a bribe of S$13.56 million from UKSB, for himself as home minister to extend the company’s contract as the operator of OSC Services in China and VLN Systems as well as maintaining a contract agreement to supply VLN integrated systems to the same company by the Home Ministry.

For the other seven charges, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have obtained for himself S$1.15 million, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from UKSB that had links with his official duties.

The trial before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues June 14.

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