Zahid slapped with 7 more charges over foreign visa system

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was slapped with seven more corruption charges amounting to over S$4.24 million at the Sessions Court here today.

The new charges are related to the home ministry’s contract award to a company to handle the foreign visa system.

Zahid, who was also home minister, was accused of receiving over S$4.24 million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd to extend its contract to manage the one-stop centre in China and VLN or overseas passport programmes.

The offence was said to have taken place at the deputy prime minister’s official residence at Seri Satria in Putrajaya between March 28, 2017 and March 2, 2018.

Zahid claimed trial to all charges after they were read before judge Azura Alwi.

If found guilty, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of not less than five times the amount of bribe received.

The seven new charges bring the total number of charges against Zahid to 54.

He previously claimed trial to 47 charges filed against him between November last year and February, for alleged criminal breach of trust involving his family-run foundation Yayasan Akal Budi, money laundering as well as accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure in the home ministry.

Deputy public prosecutor Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar told the court the prosecution would offer Zahid bail of RM200,000 with one surety.

Zahid’s legal team, led by lawyer Kitson Foong, agreed to the amount.

Azura allowed Zahid to post the RM200,000 bail and set July 31 for next mention.