Guan Eng files application for graft trial to be transferred to the High Court

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) has applied for his corruption trial involving the Penang undersea tunnel project to be transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

The application, filed through law firm Messrs Gobind Singh Deo & Co yesterday (July 8), is fixed for hearing on Monday (July 12) before High Court judge Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

Lim’s corruption trial is initially scheduled to begin next Tuesday (July 13) at the Sessions Court and trial dates have been fixed since December last year.

In the application, Lim said the proceedings before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi should be stayed pending the final decision on the transfer application.

In his supporting affidavit, the Bagan MP said his case must be heard at the High Court as decisions in such cases could be appealed to the Federal Court.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shahruddin Wan Ladin told the press that the prosecution would be objecting to Lim's application.

On Aug 7, last year, Lim was charged at the Sessions Court with soliciting a bribe from the company awarded the contract to undertake the controversial RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project.

He was accused of soliciting 10% from the potential profits from Datuk Zarul Zulkifli in exchange for helping Zarul's company, Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, to be appointed to carry out the main roads and tunnels project in Penang.

On Aug 10, the same year, Lim was charged at the Butterworth Sessions Court in Penang, with abusing his power to obtain RM3.3mil bribe as an inducement to appoint Zarul's company to implement the RM6.3bil three paired roads and undersea tunnel and three paired roads projects in the state.

On Sept 11, in the same court, he was charged with two more counts of misappropriation of property by disposing two plots of land belonging to the Penang government in Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM208mil to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd – companies linked to the tunnel project.

Lim allegedly committed the offences between 2011 and 2017.

The cases from Butterworth Sessions Court have been transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

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