MO,10/1/2018, GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here today set 23 days of trial for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon’s corruption and abetment case. Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail fixed the date after both the prosecution and defence agreed to an early trial.
She fixed five days between March 26 and March 30, April 7 to April 12 (four days), April 23 to April 27 (five days), May 7 to May 10 (four days) and May 21 to May 25 (five days). Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Masry Mohd Daud told the court that the case had been postponed following the defence’s move in challenging Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act.
“Since the Federal Court had passed its ruling on Dec 14, the case should proceed without further delay,” he said. Masry said the prosecution would also present an amended charge when the case resumed. He also told Hadhariah that the prosecution has 40 witnesses.
Meanwhile, Lim’s counsel, Gobind Singh Deo also asked the court for an early trial date. Hadhariah then said the trial should proceed as scheduled without any further delay. “The prosecution must call at least five witnesses a day,” she added.
On June 30, 2016, Lim had claimed trial to corruption charges in relation to the conversion of land from agricultural to residential and the purchase of a plot of land and bungalow at below-market price on June 30 last year.
Lim was charged with abuse of power where he had used his position as Chief Minister to gain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in southwest Penang to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.
He allegedly committed the offence while chairing the Penang State Planning Committee meeting at the operations room, Level 28, Komtar building here, on July 18, 2014.