PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution has filed its petition of appeal to challenge Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s acquittal from 40 charges of corruption purportedly given by a company to secure the extension of a contract to operate a foreign visa (VLN) system and a one-stop centre in China.
According to a source, the petition listed 15 grounds why the Court of Appeal ought to reverse Zahid’s acquittal and order him to enter his defence to answer the charges.
Zahid, who is Umno president, was named deputy prime minister for a second time after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was appointed to head a unity government following the 15th general election which took place last month.
Zahid is also the rural and regional development minister in the current administration.
The source said the petition was filed in the Court of Appeal earlier today, well ahead of its 10-day deadline, after prosecutors received the record of appeal compiled by the Shah Alam High Court registry last week.
Last month, the Court of Appeal fixed the appeal for case management on Jan 10 pending compilation of the record.
On Sept 23, then High Court judge Yazid Mustafa ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Zahid.
He said three key prosecution witnesses in the case were unreliable and not credible.
He also said their luxurious lifestyles and ownership of expensive property and vehicles gave credence to an inference that the alleged bribe money could have been distributed among the trio.
Zahid, 69, had been accused of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd between 2014 and 2018 while he was home minister and deputy prime minister when Barisan Nasional was in power.
Zahid was also charged with seven other counts of obtaining for himself the sums of S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official duties.