Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ex-Immigration DG graft trial

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in the bribery trial of a former Immigration director-general asked for a “short cut” after the prosecution took two days to tender documents for identification.

Lead defence counsel Datuk V. Sithambaram said there were already documents submitted on the application of workers, the levies paid and the visas issued, adding that he did not see how further submission of documents would help the court.

“This is a bribery case and not a case on the procedures taken by the Immigration Department.

“There is no need to further show that there were approvals for the entry of Bangladeshi workers when the permission slips had been submitted as evidence earlier,” he said when witness Ayub Abd Rahman took the stand to identify 21 application forms.

Ayub was testifying at the trial of Datuk Wahid Md Don, 57, who is charged with agreeing to accept RM60,000 from businessman Datuk Low Chang Hian as part payment to expedite approvals for 4,337 visa applications for Bangladeshis to enter the country.

Wahid is accused of committing the offence at his house in Jalan Lembah Ledang, off Jalan Duta, at 10.15pm on July 10, 2007.

DPP Mohd Jazamuddin Ahmad Nawawi then explained that the accused faced charges of expediting the approval of visa applications.

He said the application process had to be shown to the court because these were procedures that had to be followed before the visas were approved.

“We cannot submit it halfway or have a short cut. We know it involves a lot of documents but it is a process that must be followed,” he said.

Sessions Court Judge Rosbiahanin Arifin said she would leave it to the prosecution but said it should also bear in mind the defence counsel’s point.

On Wednesday, 118 documents — application forms, permission slips and temporary approval letters — were tendered. Another 155 temporary approval letters are to be tendered on Thursday.

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