KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has filed an application to transfer his case, for alleged corruption involving the construction of the undersea tunnel project in Penang, which had been fixed for hearing this Tuesday in the Sessions Court, to be transferred to the High Court.
Based on the notice of application, filed yesterday through Messrs Gobind Singh Deo & Co, Lim also requested for all proceedings on the case at the Sessions Court be postponed pending the outcome of the transfer application, which will be heard before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin this Monday.
Lim, in his supporting affidavit, stated that the case should be transferred to the High Court so that decisions relating to the case can be appealed until up to Federal Court.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, when contacted by reporters via the WhatsApp application today, the prosecution would object to the application on the grounds, among others, because it was filed at the ‘last minute’.
“The trial of the case in the Sessions Court will begin this Tuesday before Judge Azura Alwi and the prosecution is all prepared for it and will call several witnesses from Penang to testify.
“However, yesterday we found out that YB Lim’s counsel had filed an application under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court,” he said, adding that the trial date was agreed by both parties on Dec 21 last year.
The court had previously fixed July 13 to 16; July 28 and 29, Aug. 16 to 20, Sept. 6 to 10, Sept. 20 to 24 and Dec 13 to 17 to hear the case.
Lim had pleaded not guilty to two amended charges made under Section 16(A)(a) and Section 23 of the MACC Act, which were read out to him.
On the first count, he was charged with using his position as the Penang Chief Minister then, for gratification amounting RM3.3 million, as an inducement for helping a company belonging to Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to secure the undersea tunnel project, valued at RM6.3 million.
The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, 28th Floor, KOMTAR, Georgetown, Penang.
On the second amended charge, Lim was charged in his capacity as the Chief Minister of Penang to have solicited bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits from Zarul to be earned by the company as gratification for helping it to secure the project.
The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, here, between 12.30 am and 2 am in March 2011.
The Bagan Member of Parliament also faced two charges with 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.
The charges, under Section 403 of the Penal Code, provide for an imprisonment of up to five years and whipping, and a fine, upon conviction.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, KOMTAR, on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.