KUALA LUMPUR (June 26): Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today claimed trial at the Sessions Court here over seven counts of receiving huge sums of Singapore currency at the Deputy Prime Minister's official residence in relation to the foreign visa system.

Ahmad Zahid, who was formerly Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, is charged with receiving $4.24 million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd to facilitate the company in extending its contract of services as a one-stop centre.

He is alleged to have received the bribe at Seri Satria between March 28, 2017 and March 2, 2018.

The former deputy prime minister, who is also Bagan Datoh MP, claimed trial to all charges. He is expected to be charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court tomorrow.

The charges are as follows:

  • Receiving $300,000 from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria to extend its contract services in China on March 28, 2017
  • Receiving $300,000 from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria to extend its contract as one-stop centre on May 4, 2017
  • Receiving $1.04 million from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria for one-stop centre contract in September 2017
  • Receiving $1.04 million from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria to extend its contract in November 2017
  • Receiving $520,000 from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria to extend its contract on Jan 10, 2018
  • Receiving $520,000 from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria to extend its contract on Feb 12, 2018
  • Receiving $520,000 from Ultra Kirana at Seri Satria on March 2, 2018.

The charges are in relation to Zahid extending the contract of Ultra Kirana, which ran a one-stop centre in China and foreign visa system.

All the charges were filed under Section 16(a)B of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 for receiving bribes.

He stands to face a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of either five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Present at the court to lend their support to Ahmad Zahid were former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Also in court were Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's newly minted chief commissioner Latheefa Koya, her deputy commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki and the commission's head of investigations Datuk Seri Simi Abdul Ghani.

The prosecution, comprising Deputy Public Prosecutors Mohd Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar and Zander Lim Wai Keong, offered bail at RM200,000 with one surety.

Zahid's legal team — led by Kitson Foong and comprising Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Hamidi Mohd Noh, Datuk Rosal Azimin and Mohd Shahril Madisa — agreed with the amount and informed that the Umno president's passport is already handed to the court for other cases.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi granted bail at RM200,000 with one surety and fixed July 31 for mention.

Hence, with the seven charges today combined with the earlier 47 charges for money laundering, the former deputy prime minister is slapped with 54 charges in total.

This does not include the 33 charges to be levelled on him tomorrow in Shah Alam.

This would make Zahid one of the most senior politician from Umno who is facing the most charges to date.