SHAH ALAM : Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was slapped with another 33 charges at the Sessions Court here today for receiving bribes totalling RM42.7 million, as an inducement to extend the contract of Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd in managing the One Stop Centre (OSC) in China and the Visa Luar Negara (VLN) system.
The member of parliament for Bagan Datoh claimed trial to all charges.
Two interpreters took more than half an hour to read out all 33 charges in Bahasa Malaysia to Zahid who, each time, serenely replied he understood and pleaded not guilty to each count.
The Umno president, who is on leave from his post, arrived at the Sessions Court here around 8:30am.
With the 33 charges today combined with the earlier 54 charges for money laundering, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and receiving gratification, the former deputy prime minister has been slapped with 87 charges in total now.
This made Zahid one of the most senior politician from Umno who is facing the most charges to date.
Zahid was first hauled to court on Oct 19 last year for 45 counts of CBT involving RM20.83 million, for receiving RM21.25 million in gratification as the then home minister, and for laundering RM72.07 million in funds.
On Dec 14, 2018, he was charged with another count of CBT involving RM10 million of the Yayasan Akal Budi funds from three years ago.
On Feb 20 this year, he was again subjected to a fresh count of CBT in relation to the alleged abuse of Yayasan Akal Budi funds.
Yesterday, Zahid again pleaded not guilty to seven counts of receiving bribes totalling S$4.24 million, in connection with the VLN system.