High Court dismisses application to review Lim and Phang acquittal

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 13 Oct 2018

Businesswoman Phang Li Koon (left) and Lim Guan Eng leaving the Penang High Court after their acquittal over corruption charges on Sept 3, 2018. – LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here held that an online business trader has no locus standi to apply for a review of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s and businesswoman Phang Li Koon’s acquittal on corruption charges.

Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail said that Muhsin Abdul Latheef, also known as “Mamu Parpu”, had no right to ask for the acquittal to be reviewed, set aside or to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal as he was not part of the proceedings.

She said she had decided on acquitting both Lim and Phang after listening to all sides.

“Of course, someone will not be satisfied when a decision is made but we judges act according to the law, and in a criminal case only the public prosecutor has the powers to appeal to the Appeals Court,” she said in dismissing Muhsin’s application to review the decision on Sept 3 to acquit Lim and Phang.

Hadhariah also said that Article 145 of the Federal Constitution clearly states that only the Attorney General has the power to institute, conduct, or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, at his discretion.

“Neither I nor the courts have those powers and I want the people to understand that, as there would be total havoc if a judgment given in the morning could be changed in the afternoon,” she said.

She also said that Section 278 of the Criminal Procedure Code states “no court other than the High Court, having once recorded its judgment, shall alter or review the same, provided a clerical error may be rectified at any time”.

On Sept 3, Lim and Phang were freed by a High Court of corruption charges filed two years ago.

Muhsin was the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC’s) first prosecution witness in the graft trial. He filed the review application on Sept 19.

Ram Karpal Singh and R.S.N. Rayer represented Lim while Phang was represented by Datuk V. Sithambaram. Lawyer J. Gunamalar represented Muhsin.

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