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7th Rangers: VLN case: Prosecution appeals against Zahid's acquittal

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VLN case: Prosecution appeals against Zahid's acquittal
Monday, September 26, 2022

Zahid Ponorogo

Malaysiakini : The prosecution has filed an appeal against Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's acquittal in the foreign visa system (VLN) corruption case.

The notice to bring the case before the Court of Appeal was filed today, according to The Edge.

On Friday, the Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case and that its three key witnesses were unreliable.

The witnesses were former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun and former UKSB directors Harry Lee Vui Khiun and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

Dr Raman Letchumanan : I am glad the AG has decided to file an appeal. Professionally speaking, this is a bad mark on the competence of the AG Chambers to lose a case on points of law, where facts and merit are overwhelming.

I have already commented on the grounds of judgement, which even to a lay person seemed so obvious and predictable before the grounds were out. Many are taking out their anger on the judge pointing out to one or two remarks he made, like the size of the envelope used, but all have missed the point if they read the judgement fully in totality.

The judge, I believe was constrained to find a reason to justify legally that money was indeed delivered to the accused. He cited the example of the envelope to indicate the prosecution was careless to even clarify how the cash was packaged and delivered. It was all in an envelope even though it was about RM3 million. As I said it was just the word of the accuser without any corrobative evidence.

If the judge had accepted the evidence as such, what is there to stop the AG and the MACC to charge anybody just by the word of person who claimed to have bribed without any corrobative evidence. The AG cannot introduce new evidence in his appeal to make up for their mistake or oversight in the trial court. But reading from the detailed judgement, the judge had looked at all over 30 transactions and came to the conclusion that most, not all, were uncorrabated or believable.

The judge has to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused, because as the judge said the evidence has to be read in favour of the accused in a case of proof beyond reasonable doubt. What I am trying to say, if legally allowed, the AG should not appeal on every charge. There were some charges where the accused had admitted receiving the money.

Not only that, he justified it by saying it is a political donation. Furthermore, the accused himself said he was selectively prosecuted because others who received money were not prosecuted. The judge outrightly rejected these 2 reasons as legally unsustainable. I believe the AG may have to decide whether to appeal on all charges or those where it is clearly proven, if the law allows.

Read it all here, subscription required.........
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:52 PM  
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