Sept 3 date set to determine if corruption case against Guan Eng will continue

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court has fixed Sept 3 for the prosecution to decide if they will withdraw (or proceed with) corruption charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) and businesswoman Phang Li Koon.

This is after the prosecution, led by DPP Abdul Rashid Daud, requested for a month's time to deliberate the letter of representations submitted by the accused to review the charges.

Counsel Ramkarpal Singh Deo, representing Lim who was not present, informed the court that the representation dated July 6 had been submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

He said that they the prosecution had told them that more time was needed to look into the matter.

Phang's counsel Datuk V. Sithambaram voiced no objections on the matter.

High Court judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail then granted the application when the case was mentioned in court Monday (July 30), adding that the prosecution must provide an answer to the representation then.

The prosecution team comprised DPPs Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul and Mohd Zain Ibrahim.

The joint trial of Lim and Phang was in connection with the conversion of land from agriculture to residential and the purchase of a plot of land and bungalow at below market value.

Lim, who was then Penang chief minister, pleaded not guilty on June 30, 2016 to the two counts of corruption.

He was charged with using his position as chief minister to gain gratification for himself and wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng by approving the application for conversion of agricultural land to a public housing zone in Balik Pulau to Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd.

He faces a second charge of using his position to obtain a plot of land and bungalow at No. 25, Jalan Pinhorn, on July 28, 2015, from businesswoman Phang Li Koon for RM2.8mil, at below market value.

Lim was sworn in as Finance Minister on May 21, following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the May 9 polls.

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