Tommy Thomas delighted Zahid trial has revealed names who allegedly took money from UKSB

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The investigation papers into the Foreign Visa System (VLN) case do not contain the “micro-information” needed to prosecute other individuals, apart from former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The “micro-information” in question, according to former attorney-general Tommy Thomas, is the secret ledger of Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), which contains code names and details of alleged payments of kickbacks made by the company to several prominent individuals between 2014 and 2018.

Thomas was not surprised that such a revelation would be made this late into the trial, opining that it “is wonderful”.

“I think this tells you why trials are so wonderful. Whether it’s a criminal trial or a civil trial, they always produce surprising evidence, which is why nobody can fully prepare for a trial.

Bernama

“When the investigation paper was being prepared, and when the recommendation would have been to charge the accused here (Zahid)…there is no way that we would have gotten that kind of micro information which will only turn up at the trial years later. I would answer that’s how trials are.

“The amount of evidence, the volume of evidence and intensity of the case becomes clearer at trial, not at the stage where you file a statement of claim in a civil case or when you prosecute,” he said during a talk show streamed on YouTube last night.

Thomas had appeared on lawyer and YouTuber Ang Woei Shang’s talk show to speak on the Chinese edition of his memoir My Story: Justice in the Wilderness.

Apart from Zahid, the prominent figures named in the UKSB ledger are several Umno top guns including Senior Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Housing and Local Government Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

It also named former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Warisan president Shafie Apdal and former foreign minister Anifah Aman.

Thomas claimed that due to the brevity of the investigation paper, he had not known of the involvement of these other individuals when he decided to charge Zahid.

“Personally, I did not know all these things when I took the decision to charge the particular accused.

“The investigation paper would have been much less detailed, just saying (that there was a) prima facie recommendation to prosecute. Then I would have studied those macro documents and made the decision. We would not have gone into such micro detail,” he said.

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 as the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the One-Stop Centre (OSC) 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.

On another seven counts, Zahid is charged, as then home minister, to have obtained for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.

Zahid, who is the current Umno president, is charged with committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018. – Malaysiakini