Dec 18 the next court date for Guan Eng and wife

BUTTERWORTH: The case management date for the gratification, laundering and abetment cases involving former finance minister Lim Guan Eng, his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng, and businesswoman Phang Li Koon has been set for Dec 18.

Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid set the date after lawyer RSN Rayer, representing Lim and Chew, said the lawyers needed time to go through the documents handed over by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Deputy public prosecutor S. Selvaranjini representing MACC said the bulk of the documents had been handed over to the various counsels representing Lim, Chew and Phang.

She then requested for a case management date to be set to give time for the defence team to go through the documents.

Rayer then requested for a few months to go through the documents.

Phang's counsel A. Rueban Kumar was also present at the Butterworth sessions court on Friday (Oct 16).

The documents were handed over under Section 51(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, as it is required for the prosecution to supply documents pertaining to a case to the defence team before hearing commences.

Lim, 60, on Aug 11 was charged with abusing his public office for gratification under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 when he was chief minister and Penang Development Corporation chairman between Aug 19,2013, and March 3,2016.

He was charged with getting RM372,009 for his wife Chew through Excel Property Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd to ensure that Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd received an offer to build foreign worker dormitories in Juru and Batu Kawan worth RM11.61mil.

The offence under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 is punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act and carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

In the same courtroom, Chew, 56, was charged with three counts of money laundering.

She is accused of receiving RM87,009 in illegal revenue from Excel Property Management and Consultancy into her bank account between Oct 7,2013 and Aug 4,2014.

The charge under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 carries a fine up to RM5mil or maximum five years’ jail, or both, upon conviction.

She faces two more charges of receiving a total of RM285,000 in illegal revenue from the same company, of which RM180,000 was allegedly received between Sept 3,2014, and Aug 11,2015, and RM105,000 between Sept 4,2015 and March 3,2016.

Both charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carry a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount received or RM5mil, whichever is higher, if convicted.

Phang, 48, a director at Excel Property Management and Consultancy, was charged with abetting Lim in gaining the RM372,009 for his wife.

Phang is charged under Section 28(1)(c) of the MACC Act 2009.

The counsel team is led by lawyers Rayer, Gobind Singh Deo, and V. Vemal Arasan representing Lim.

Ramkarpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo and Lee Khai are representing Chew and Datuk V. Sithambaram and Rueban Kumar are representing Phang.

The DPP team is led by Ahmad Akram Gharib, supported by Mohd Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar, Roslan Mat Nor and Francine Cheryl Rajendram.

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