Guan Eng forced to apologise after reprimand from judge


KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here has reprimanded former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng for making sub judice statements about his ongoing corruption trial outside the court.

Before the start of the trial into the Penang undersea tunnel project on Monday (June 27), Judge Azura Alwi said she was disappointed as a similar situation had happened at the start of the trial.

ALSO READ: Reports lodged against Guan Eng, Syed Saddiq and lawyer for commenting on ongoing trials

“I think this happened before in the beginning although I did not issue any orders then,” she said, referring to an incident in August 2020 where she also reprimanded several parties for commenting on the ongoing case.

“All parties should not issue any sub-judice statements. You have full knowledge of that. As I have said, all parties are mature and this is not the first time we face a trial in court, this is not something new or alien to any of you, I am disappointed that this still happens,” she added.

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Since Lim’s graft trial is a case of public interest, Azura has called on all parties not to take things for granted.

“I hope this doesn’t happen again and you won’t take things lightly. You know this is a public interest case, so don’t do what you are not supposed to.

“I hope the accused and other parties will respect the court,” she added.

ALSO READ: Guan Eng accepted cash-filled envelopes 'with a smile', says witness

On Saturday (June 25), a police report was lodged against Lim, for making comments about his ongoing trial in the Penang undersea tunnel project, which could have been to sub judice.

The report was based on a news article where Lim was quoted as saying that the testimony of a witness in his trial was made up and part of a political conspiracy.

Sub judice is a legal rule that prohibits cases under judicial consideration from public discussion.

ALSO READ: Guan Eng accepted cash-filled envelopes 'with a smile', says witness

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, who led the prosecution team, also ticked off the defence over the same incident.

“The prosecution wishes to raise this so that it won’t happen anymore,” he said.

Gobind Singh Deo, who is Lim’s lead counsel, stood up and apologised.

“My colleague has alerted me about this. On Friday, my client said a few things to the media... We stand by the guidance and we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” he said.

Following Azura’s rebuke, Gobind said that the defence “accepted the rebuke and apologises.”

Meanwhile, the 23rd prosecution witness, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, who was supposed to be cross-examined by the defence on Monday, was absent in court due to sickness.

Wan Shaharuddin said that Zarul Ahmad, who is a key witness in the trial, had called and said that he was not feeling well.

“He had recently covered from pancreatic cancer stage 1. He was given a medical certificate,” he said, adding that the MC was until June 29.

The Monday trial continued with two other prosecution witnesses reading out their witness statements.

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Lim Guan Eng , Trial , Sub Judice , Judge , Reprimand , Defence

   

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