Court rejects Guan Eng, Betty Chew and Phang's bid to strike out graft charges

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here has rejected Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, his wife Betty Chew and businesswoman Phang Li Koon's bid to strike out corruption charges involving a RM11.6mil foreign workers' dormitory project.

Judicial Commissioner Rofiah Mohamad said she rejected the bid to strike out the case as there was a major difference in these proceedings compared to the original charges cited by the defence.

"The facts of the case are different. The case must go on," she said in court on Friday (May 3).

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Last year, the defence filed an application to strike out the case, citing the use of the same evidence in an unrelated case where Lim was acquitted in 2018.

Lim's lawyer RSN Rayer claimed the prosecution was using evidence from a previous criminal case involving the purchase of Lim’s bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn despite his acquittal and discharge in 2018.

They were charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

The case revolves around a dormitory project awarded to a company linked to Phang when Lim was Penang’s chief minister.

Lim is accused of giving gratification worth RM372,009 to Chew via Excel Property Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd to ensure that Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd was awarded the project at Juru and Batu Kawan.

The offence was alleged to have been committed between Aug 19, 2013, and March 3, 2016, when Lim was also tender board chairman of the Penang Development Corporation.

Phang was charged with abetting Lim under Section 28 (1)(c) of the MACC Act.

Meanwhile, Chew was charged with three counts of laundering the RM372,009 in three tranches from a Public Bank account registered at the Taman Melaka Raya branch between Oct 7, 2013 and March 3, 2016.

Lawyer V. Sithambaram appeared for Phang. Deputy public prosecutors Syed Faisal Syed Amir, Ashrof Adrin Kamarul and Shafiq Hasim prosecuted.

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