GEORGE TOWN, Dec 6 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng looks set to undergo a marathon trial next year following his two corruption charges over his RM2.8 million double-storey house on Jalan Pinhorn here.
High Court judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail scheduled today hearing for both cases to start from March 27 to 31, April 10 to 14, April 24 to 28, May 15 to 19, May 29 to June 2, June 13 to 16 and July 17 to 21.
But the prosecution and defence have also been ordered to submit all relevant documents for the case by January 6.
“I want the prosecution and defence to come out with the agreed facts and issues to be tried and get all documentations ready. Please do not waste the courts’ time.
“The prosecution must be ready. We cannot delay anymore. Please be ready by January 6 for case management,” she said.
The prosecution team had earlier told the court they were having some issues with their 13,000 documents that they previously failed to index.
She said the dates set for the trial will not be delayed or postponed as the prosecution will be calling 60 witnesses for the trial.
“Get everything ready by January 6 because I won’t want any further delay,” she said.
Gobind Singh Deo, who leads the defence team, said they will prepare the statement of defence and submit it before the trial starts.
Today was the case management of two corruption cases against Lim but only his team of lawyers, led by Gobind Singh Deo, were present at court today.
Lim along with businesswoman Phang Li Khoon were charged with graft over his house purchase deal last year.
Lim was charged with using his public office or position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land to residential purpose during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.
Lim is alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from Phang at RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million on July 28, 2015.
Phang meanwhile was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Lim on July 28 last year in regards to his purchase of the house on Pinhorn Road from her for RM2.8 million which was below the market value or RM4.27 million whereby Lim had allegedly committed an offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code which is punishable with a jail term of up to two years, a fine, or both.
Phang’s case will also be heard at the same time as Lim’s cases.
Guan Eng’s graft trial set for March 27
GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s graft trial will begin on March 27, a High Court decided today.
The hearing will be heard before Judge Datuk Hadariah Ismail.
Hadhariah said the trial will commence in March and go on until July.
Lim faces charges of abuse of power and graft for allegedly abusing his position as chief minister to obtain benefits for himself and his wife.
He was accused of committing the offence on July 18, 2014 at Komtar when he chaired the State Planning Committee (SPC) meeting to rezone Lot 436 and Lot 437 in the southwest district from agriculture to residential housing for Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd.
The offence comes under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which carries a maximum 20-year jail term and not less than five times the amount of the benefit if it can be counted in cash or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
On the second charge, he is alleged to have obtained a plot of land and house, namely No. 25, Jalan Pinhorn, for the price of RM2.8 million when the valuation at that time was RM4.27 million, from one Phang Li Koon.
The offence, under the Penal Code, carries a maximum two-year prison sentence, or fine, or both.
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