GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were charged in the Penang High Court Thursday.
Lim was charged with corruption over the purchase of his RM2.8mil bungalow on Pinhorn Road said to be below market prices and an abuse of power for allegedly re-zoning a plot of land from agriculture to residential use.
Meanwhile, Phang was charged with abetment over the sale of the bungalow to Guan Eng.
State exco member Chow Kon Yeow said Wednesday that the warrant of arrest served on Lim showed two charges – one each under Section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Section 165 of the Penal Code.
Phang Li Koon, the president of Magnificent Emblem and former owner of Lim's bungalow, was also detained at her office in Penang Garden at 4.15pm Wednesday.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali led the prosecution team.
12.10pm: Phang claims trial, offered bail of RM200,000.
11.56am: Guan Eng pleads not guilty and claims trial to both charges, read before Judicial Commissioner Azmi Ariffin. Azmi sets bail at RM1mil with one surety. Does not ask Guan Eng to surrender passport on condition he gives the Court and the A-G's Chambers two days' notice if he intends to travel abroad.
11.45am: Court resumes at the High Court.
11.30am: The locked doors of the packed High Court courtroom are opened to allow Kit Siang, Neo, Hui Ying and Gurmit to enter.
11.20am: Guan Eng and his wife Betty (white blouse) walk from the Sessions Court to High Court.
11.15am: Lim Guan Eng slapped with two charges under Anti-Corruption Act Section 23 and Penal Code Section 165, while Phang Li Koon is charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165.
10.46am: Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu is at the courtroom but said he was waiting for developments before making any comments.
10.43am: Prosecution requests that both Guan Eng's and Phang's cases are transferred to the High Court. Sessions Court Judge Roslan Hamid agrees to request. Proceedings immediately adjourn to the appropriate courtroom.
10.31am: Court is called into session.
10.16am: Apandi arrives in a white Audi Q7 under heavy guard and heads straight to the courtroom.
10.10am: The doors to the courtroom are closed and police are not allowing anyone else to enter as it is already full.
10.09am: Businessman Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping tries to enter the courtroom but was refused entry. He tries again a few minutes later and leaves after he could not enter.
10.08am: Guan Eng's mother Neo is seen sobbing, holding a piece of tissue paper in her hand. "I am fine. Thank you for your concern," she told a few reporters sitting close to her.
10.05am: As Guan Eng enters the courtroom, those standing in the gallery have been told to leave. Many people in the gallery started taking photos, which led to a warning from court police not to do so anymore.
10.03am: Guan Eng exits the van to head to the courtroom.
Kit Siang and wife managed to find seats after some members of the public relinquish their places in the gallery. They were both greeted by the late Karpal Singh's wife Gurmit Kaur.
9.59am: The van and a motorcade of six cars enters the courthouse grounds.
9.58am: DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang arrives at the courthouse with his wife Neo Yok Tee and receives vocal support from the gathered crowd.
9.55am: Lim Guan Eng is seen leaving the MACC building in a van, escorted by several MACC vehicles.
9:46am: A few hundred curious onlookers are milling about along Lebuh Light beside the courthouse, but no banners have been spotted. When asked, policemen said they have orders to only allow those who have court business and members of the media to enter the courthouse grounds.
9.05am: Gobind Singh and Ramkarpal Singh arrived in the courtroom, together with lawyer R.S.N Rayer.
8.59am: Phang's family members entered the courtroom, the same time as Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy.
8.56am: Former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Zaid Ibrahim was seen arriving at the courtroom, but with all seats in the gallery filled, had to find a place to stand instead.
8.55am: The jam on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah did not affect immediate routes around the courthouse. Office workers were spotted having their routine breakfasts in the heritage enclave. When asked, they said they were aware of the impending corruption charges against Guan Eng, but most shrugged and went back to their breakfasts.
8.50am: It has been drizzling here since about 8am, but that has not deterred members of the public from gathering outside the courthouse.
8.45am: Guan Eng is still at MACC building and is expected to be brought over to the courthouse at at around 10am.
8.10am: The public gallery at the Penang Sessions Court is already full, with people arriving at the courthouse as early as 7.30am.