KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — The Sessions Court today expressed its ‘disappointment’ and reprimanded Lim Guan Eng for making public statements in response to evidence presented in his ongoing corruption trial, stating the case is sub-judice.
Before today’s hearing began, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin had directed to court a police report lodged by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Friday (June 24) over Lim’s statement denying the prosecution’s witness’ allegations against him.
In the alleged sub-judicial remark made on Facebook, Lim had described the testimony made by prosecution witness Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli as false, fabricated and a political conspiracy.
Wan Shaharuddin then asked trial judge Azura Alwi to reprimand the accused so similar incidents could be avoided in the future.
In response, defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said the defence took full responsibility over Lim’s conduct and subsequently issued a formal apology to the court for any inconvenience.
“This is in relation to a statement made on Friday whereby we accept what the prosecution has raised.
“We apologise if this caused any inconvenience,” he said.
Reprimanding the accused, Azura pointed out that the defence was fully aware of ongoing proceedings as this was not something unfamiliar to everyone.
“As I have previously advised, this is not the first time parties have come to court for trial, it’s not something new or alien for all of you so I am indeed very disappointed in this matter.
“Yes, I can reprimand but as to how effective it is to the accused I cannot give any guarantees of my own.
“It is really upsetting because the case is ongoing but I hope the matter doesn’t repeat itself and hope the defence takes heed of this and doesn’t take the matter lightly since this is a public interest case,” she said.
Lim is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang chief minister to receive RM3.3 million in bribes to help Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd to obtain the undersea tunnel project.
On the second amended charge, Lim was accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits of the company from businessman Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli as gratification for getting the project.
Lim, who is also former DAP secretary-general, is also faced with two charges of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies, which are linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.