Guan Eng, wife’s corruption case deferred to May 28 after defence asks for more time to go through 1,000 documents

RSN Rayer who appeared for Lim and Chew entering the courthouse in Butterworth, Penang.

BUTTERWORTH: The defence team in the corruption and money laundering case involving former finance minister Lim Guan Eng, his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon has requested more time to go through 1,000 documents handed over by the prosecution.

"The documents were just served to us a few days ago.

"There are 1,000 pages and we will need time to go through the documents. We need to advise our clients and take instructions from them.

"There could be a constitutional challenge filed on the charges. We may also file an interlocutory application.

"We request for three months to go through the 1,000 pages," said RSN Rayer who appeared for Lim and Chew in court on Friday (Feb 19).

A. Rueban Kumar appeared for Phang.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shafiq Hasim, who was present, did not object to Rayer's request.

Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid allowed the request after Rayer said the hardcopy of 1,000 documents pertaining to the case was handed over by the prosecution team on Feb 16.

Ahmad Azhari set May 28 for case mention.

The case was earlier delayed in December last year after Shafiq requested the extension to allow the prosecution to submit five more documents.

In October last year, the proceedings were delayed by two months to give time to the defence to go through “voluminous” documents received from the prosecution team.

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

Lim 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 workers 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 of 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 carries 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 of 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.

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