Penang CM's graft trial: Hearing postponed pending appeal

BALVIN KAUR


GEORGE TOWN: The hearing of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s and businesswoman Phang Ali Khoon's graft case had been postponed, pending their appeal against a dismissal of their motion to declare Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 unconstitutional.

The 34-day hearing, involving 60 witnesses, was supposed to start on March 27.

However, Lim’s defence team, led by Gobind Singh Deo; and Phang's defence, led by V. Sithambaram, asked the court for leave to apply against the court's decision on March 7 to dismiss the defence's motion to declare Section 62 of the act as unconstitutional.

Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail vacated the dates set for trial and set April 25 for mention.

She also rescinded her earlier order for the defence to submit their statements by March 21.

It was reported that Lim and Phang had tried to declare Section 62 of the MACC Act as unconstitutional.

Their appeal, which was filed on Jan 6, was dismissed by Hadhariah.

On June 30, 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 Sdn Bhd to convert agricultural land for residential purposes.

Lim was also alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing a bungalow from businesswoman Phang for RM2.8 million, below the property’s market value of RM4.7 million, on July 28, 2015.

Lim and Phang have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud prosecuted.