Lawyer wants AG to resign after Guan Eng, businesswoman's acquittal


PUTRAJAYA: A lawyer has urged Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to resign following Penang High Court's decision to acquit Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng of graft charges.

Datuk Abu Backer Sidek Mohamad Zan, who was met outside Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters today, said to protect the integrity of the institution, the Attorney General's Chambers should file an appeal against the decision immediately.

“The people should know who is Tommy Thomas. He was Lim’s lawyer for more than 10 years. I challenge him to deny this because I have proof,” he claimed.

Earlier, he lodged a report with the MACC, calling on the graftbuster to investigate possible abuse of power behind the move.

On Monday, the Penang High Court had freed Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon over their corruption charges related to the purchase of a bungalow at Jalan Kebung Bunga two years ago.

The prosecution had asked for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal under provisions in Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

However, Lim’s head counsel, Ramkarpal Singh, and Phang’s lead counsel, Datuk V. Sithambaram, had requested for a full acquittal.

Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, in her judgment, agreed with the counsels that the charges “cannot be hanging over the head of the accused indefinitely” and freed both accused.

On June 30, 2016, Lim claimed trial to using his position as a public officer, namely, as the then chief minister of Penang, to gain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng.

He was accused of doing so by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in the southwest district to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.

He was charged with committing the offence while chairing the State Planning Committee meeting at the operations room, Level 28, Komtar building, on July 18, 2014.

In the second charge, Lim also claimed trial to using his position to obtain for himself a plot of land and a house, located at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, from Phang for RM2.8 million, a price which he allegedly knew did not commensurate with the property’s then market value of RM4.27 million.

The offence was allegedly committed at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town here on Oct 21, 2015.

Phang was charged with abetting Lim in obtaining the bungalow at an undervalued cost at the same place and date. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd