PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas has recused himself from the graft case involving Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, said the Attorney General’s Chambers.
In a joint statement, Solicitor-generals Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek and Zauyah Be Loth Khan said that when Tommy took office, he declared that the conflict of interest rule applied to him.
With regard to clients he had acted for and the adverse parties in such litigation, there were two solutions – one of them being recusing himself from cases where his involvement was personal, such as counsel and friend.
Tommy had previously represented Lim in his ongoing corruption case.
Engku Nor Faizah and Zauyah said Tommy would declare his interest before participating in any decision in cases where he decided not to remove himself.
The High Court had fixed Sept 3 for the prosecution to decide if they will withdraw (or proceed with) corruption charges against Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon.
This was 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.
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.