Guan Eng files application for graft cases to be heard in KL High Court

Lim Guan Eng (right) is seen with his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 21, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Lim Guan Eng (right) is seen with his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 21, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has applied for his graft cases, related to the Penang undersea tunnel project, to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The Bagan MP who filed the application yesterday through his lead counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, is also seeking for the trial set to be heard at the Sessions Court next week to be stayed pending hearing of his application.

According to Gobind, when contacted, the hearing of the application will be heard before Justice Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin in High Court on Monday (July 12) morning.

“We filed the transfer as we have issues with Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and applications for the prosecution’s witness statement,” he said.

Gobind, who is also Puchong MP, said if the cases were heard in High Court, they could then make the applications for the witness statements to be provided to the defence team.

“We are asking for the cases to be heard in the High Court in preparation for us to appeal any decisions on these applications directly to the Federal Court,” he said.

As for the issue with Section 62 of the MACC Act, which requires the defence to file its statement of defence, Gobind said the Court of Appeal had already found the section unconstitutional.

However, the Federal Court allowed an appeal against the decision by the Court of Appeal but there were no written grounds in the decision.

Lim’s affidavit, in applying for the transfer of his cases to the High Court, said there are also legal issues related to the recording of prosecution’s witness statement that were taken before and during the trial under Section 112 and Section 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 30 and 33 of the MACC Act.

“I believe that among the main prosecution’s witnesses in this case as per the charges is Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli,” Lim said in his affidavit.

He said his counsels, in preparing for trial, have applied for the witness statements and made the application that the witness statement is not a privileged document and should be provided to the defence team before or during the trial.

He referred to Section 417 and 418 of the Criminal Procedure Code which gave the High Court jurisdiction to transfer his cases from the Sessions Court to High Court.

Last year, on August 7, Lim was charged with soliciting a bribe from the company that was awarded the contract to build the undersea tunnel at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

He had claimed trial to asking for 10 per cent of profits from Zarul Ahmad as inducement to help his company, Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, get the project to build the undersea tunnel.

Lim was then charged in the Butterworth Sessions Court on August 10 with using his position as the then Penang chief minister to solicit gratification of RM3.3 million for himself as an inducement to help the company secure the project valued at RM6.3 billion.

On September 11, Lim faced another two charges of dishonestly misappropriating a state government land.

He claimed trial to dishonestly misappropriating Lot Number HS (D) 18801, PT Lot 702 Section 1, Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM135,086,094 to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and dishonestly misappropriating a state government land, Lot Number H.S. (D) 19318, PT Lot 10012 Section 1, Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM135,086,094 to Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd.

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