KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The Sessions Court today granted Lim Guan Eng's application to allow new evidence involving message exchanges between two key prosecution witnesses from another court case to be adduced in his ongoing Penang undersea tunnel project trial.
The evidence sought by the defence includes a full transcript of the WhatsApp messages between two prosecution witnesses — Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli and G. Gnanaraja.
According to the defence, the full transcript was tendered as evidence in a separate court trial in Shah Alam but had previously contended that the defence was only provided a truncated version of said document in this trial.
Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi said the court was in agreement with the defence's contention that there were two different testimonies presented in two different courts by the named witnesses over a purported payment of RM2 million in bribes and that the evidence sought were relevant to the accused's defence.
“Based on the note of proceedings and witness testimonies in the Shah Alam case which has been presented as affidavits in this application, the court has found that the applicant has successfully demonstrated a payment voucher and cheque tendered as evidence there was the same as this trial, albeit a different recipient.
“The overall facts needed to be presented in full in order for the truth to be known,” she said in her judgement.
In Shah Alam, Gnanaraja was charged with allegedly deceiving Zarul Ahmad over RM19 million — of which the RM2 million is part of it — into believing that he could help the latter close the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation linked to the same undersea project.
Gnanaraja later pleaded guilty to the alternative charge under the Companies Act and imposed a fine of RM230,000.
Zarul Ahmad is currently on the stand as the 23rd prosecution witness and is under cross-examination.
Gnanaraja, on the other hand, has yet to testify but the prosecution has indicated he will be called.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court the documents sought will be handed over to the defence in two weeks time which they did not object.
Azura then fixed May 10 for mention.
Lim, 61, is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang chief minister to solicit RM3.3 million in bribes as an inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) owner, Zarul Ahmad, to secure the project worth RM6,341,383,702.
In the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10 per cent of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project.
Lim, who is the former DAP secretary-general, faced another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.