Application comes ahead of hearing at sessions court scheduled for July 12, 2021
KUALA LUMPUR, Bernama, July 9, 2021 – Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has filed an application to transfer his corruption case, in relation to the construction of the Penang undersea tunnel project, to the high court here, ahead of its hearing at the sessions court on Tuesday.
Based on the notice of application, filed yesterday through Messrs Gobind Singh Deo & Co, Lim also requested that all of the case’s proceedings at the sessions court be postponed pending the outcome of the transfer application, which will be heard before high court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin on Monday.
In his supporting affidavit, the former Penang chief minister said the case should be transferred to the high court so that the decisions relating to it can be appealed up to the Federal Court level.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the prosecution will object to the application on the grounds that it was filed at the “last minute”, among other reasons.
“The trial at the sessions court will begin on Tuesday before judge Azura Alwi, and the prosecution is all prepared for it and will call several witnesses from Penang to testify,” he told reporters via WhatsApp.
“However, yesterday, we found out that Lim’s counsel has filed an application under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the case to the high court,” he said, adding that the trial dates were agreed on by both parties on December 21 last year.
The court previously fixed July 13 to 16, and 28 and 29; August 16 to 20; September 6 to 10, and 20 to 24; and, December 13 to 17 to hear the case.
Lim has pleaded not guilty to two amended charges under Sections 16(A)(a) and 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
On the first count, he is accused of abusing his position as the then chief minister to obtain gratification totalling RM3.3 million as an inducement for helping a company belonging to one Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli secure the undersea tunnel project, valued at RM6.3 million.
The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang chief minister’s office at Komtar in George Town.
On the second amended charge, he is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10% of the profits from Zarul.
The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in March 2011.
The Bagan MP also faces two charges for causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million and belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two firms linked to the undersea tunnel project.
The charges, under Section 403 of the Penal Code, provides for imprisonment of up to five years, and whipping, and a fine, upon conviction.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office at Komtar on February 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.