Guan Eng appeals dismissal of bid to transfer graft case

PUTRAJAYA: Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng is appealing to the Federal Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal, that rejected his appeal for the transfer of his corruption case to the High Court.

Lim’s graft case involves the undersea tunnel and paired roads project.

One of his counsels, Haijan Omar, said the notice of appeal was filed last Friday (Nov 19).

He said they would file the petition of appeal after receiving the records of appeal.

Last Nov 16, the Court of Appeal three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and Datuk Hashim Hamzah dismissed Lim’s appeal to have his ongoing corruption case transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

In affirming the High Court’s decision, Justice Che Mohd Ruzima, who delivered the court’s decision, held that Lim’s approach in using Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code, specifically for the trial to be held at the High Court as a platform to bring his appeal to the Federal Court should not be allowed.

For cases starting in the Sessions Court, the appeal will end in the Court of Appeal, while cases starting in the High Court will end in the Federal Court.

On July 12 this year, High Court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin dismissed Lim’s application to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Lim, who is Bagan MP, faces four charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads in Penang worth RM6.3bil.

According to the first amended charge, Lim is accused of using his position as Penang Chief Minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3mil as an inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) owner, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, to secure the construction project worth RM6,341,383,702.

Lim is alleged to have committed the offence at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town, between Jan 2011 and Aug 2017.

On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10% of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project, which he allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.

Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, faces another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8mil, belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.

The two offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017. The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday (Nov 29) before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi. — Bernama

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