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Guan Eng to face new charges this Friday for misappropriation of property

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Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng (centre) arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng (centre) arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Former Penang chief minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is set to face new charges this Friday, the Sessions Court was told today.

Having been charged thrice last month within a week, Lim is expected to be charged with two counts under Section 403 of the Penal Code — which covers the offence of dishonest misappropriation of property — in Penang, the prosecution said.

When two of Lim’s criminal cases came up for mention in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin informed the judge: “I wish to inform that this morning, the accused has been served with a notice to notify him that there will be charges in Butterworth on September 11, under Section 403 — two charges.”

Wan Shaharuddin also said that the new case in Penang this Friday will also be transferred to the court here in Kuala Lumpur, before asking for a new mention date for the two cases already in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who is one of Lim’s defence lawyer, then confirmed having received the notification that his client would face new charges this Friday.

Gobind, however, clarified that Lim’s legal team has yet to decide if they will object to Lim’s new case this Friday being shifted to be heard in Kuala Lumpur: “But only for the record, I only wish to say whether the defence will object to the transfer of the case from Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur, that will be decided on Friday because we haven’t seen the charges. Just for the record, so there’s clarity.”

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi then fixed October 12 for the new mention date for the two cases already before her court. The two cases involved charges brought against Lim on August 7 and August 10.

The two cases now in KL

On August 7, Lim had pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur to a charge of having allegedly solicited a bribe amounting to 10 per cent of potential profits from Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, as a reward for the proposal to help the latter’s company be appointed to carry out a project to build main roads and a tunnel in Penang.

He was accused of having committed this offence in March 2011 near The Gardens Hotel in Mid Valley City in Kuala Lumpur when he was Penang chief minister.

For the August 7 charge, Lim was charged under Section 16 (a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act Act 2009 — which covers the offence of soliciting, or receiving, or agreeing to receive for himself or anyone else, any gratification as an inducement or a reward. The penalties for this offence upon conviction are a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

On August 11, Lim was charged with having allegedly used his position as a public body officer in his role as Penang chief minister to obtain gratification for himself to the amount of RM3.3 million by allegedly helping Zafrul Ahmad’s company be appointed to carry out the RM6,341, 383,702 Undersea Tunnel and Three-Paired Roads Project in Penang where he was alleged to have an interest in.

Lim was alleged to have committed this offence between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang chief minister’s office at Level 28, Komtar in Georgetown, Penang.

This charge on August 11 was brought under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which carries the penalty of a maximum jail term of 20 years, and a fine not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The August 11 case was transferred from Penang to be heard before the same Sessions Court judge in Kuala Lumpur.

A bail of RM1 million with two sureties was imposed on Lim on August 7, with the same bail amount previously extended to cover the August 11 case.

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