KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The High Court today acquitted former transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy of three cheating charges over the controversial Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).
According to Chan’s lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, the prosecution decided to drop the charges after considering his client’s application to strike out the case.
The prosecution had also considered the testimonies in a separate PKFZ case involving another former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, who was also acquitted last year, Tan said.
“The prosecution decided not to approve the case. All three charges against the accused were withdrawn,” Tan told reporters after both sides met in chambers before judge Datuk Zamani Abdul Rahman.
Chan, who was present in court today, declined comment on his acquittal when approached by reporters, and only said, “Thank you.”
On February 28, 2011, Chan was charged with three counts of cheating then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over development and renovation works at the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) site between 2004 and 2006.
In the first charge, Chan was allegedly misled Abdullah in 2004 into approving Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) as the turnkey developer for a 1,000-acre piece of land on Pulau Indah at an estimated cost of RM1 billion.
The second charge revolved around RM510.38 million of further development work in PKFZ in 2005.
The last charge was related to infrastructure work in early 2006 which amounted to RM335.8 million.
The penalty upon conviction for each charge is a maximum jail term of five years, a fine or both.
Last year, Chan’s lawyers filed a letter of representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to get the charges against the former MCA deputy president dropped.
Last October 25, Ling, who is also a former MCA president, was acquitted of all charges in a cheating case over a land purchase for the PKFZ project.
The AG’s Chambers did not appeal against Ling’s acquittal.