SHAH ALAM: Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pleaded not guilty at the High Court here to another amended charge of corruption over the foreign visa system (VLN).

Justice Mohd Yazid Mustafa ordered the amended charge to be read out to Ahmad Zahid, 69, after allowing deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob’s application to amend the third charge, which involved the change of currency from 15,000 in euro to 15,000 in Swiss franc.

As soon as the amended charge was read out to him through an interpreter, Ahmad Zahid made the plea of not guilty, Bernama reported.

According to the amended charge, Ahmad Zahid was charged as the Home Minister with obtaining for himself a valuable thing namely cash of 15,000 in Swiss franc from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), which he knew had a connection with his official functions.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at No. 389, Jalan Bayu Nyaman, Country Heights, Kajang in May 2016.

The amended charge, framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, carries a sentence of imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine or both, if convicted.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56mil 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 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.

For another seven counts, Ahmad Zahid was charged as home minister to have obtained for himself S$1,150,000, RM3mil, €15,000 and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official work.