GEORGE TOWN – Supporters and media started arriving at the George Town Court from 7am for the second day of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s high-profile corruption trial.
A limited number of media and visitor passes were given out from 7.30am at the court compound, and the quota of 20 media personnel was filled in less than an hour.
The hearing, which started on Monday (March 26), saw a total of 11 prosecution witnesses testifying.
Another 14 witnesses are expected to turn up for the hearing Tuesday.
Lim arrived at the courthouse at 9.25am, accompanied by his wife Betty Chew.
Proceedings started promptly at 9.30am before High Court Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail.
It was reported that 54 witnesses are expected to testify in the prosecution’s case against Lim.
Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon pleaded not guilty to the charges against them on Monday.
For the first amended charge, Lim was charged with using his position as a public officer to gain gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in southwest Penang to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.
Lim, 58, was charged with committing the offence while chairing the Penang State Planning Committee meeting at the operations room, Level 28, Komtar building here, on July 18, 2014.
The amended charge involved the change of “civil servant” to public officer”.
The charge under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
For the second amended charge, Lim was charged with using his position to obtain for himself a plot of land and a bungalow, located at 25 Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, from Phang for RM2.8mil, a price which he allegedly knew did not commensurate with the property’s then market value of RM4.27mil.
The offence was allegedly committed at 25 Jalan Pinhorn, George Town here on Oct 21, 2015 (instead of July 28, 2015 as stated in the original charge).
The charge was framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
Phang also pleaded not guilty to an amended charge with abetting Lim in obtaining the bungalow at an undervalued price at the same place and date.
She was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165 of the same law, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
The prosecution team was led by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud, while Lim was represented by Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh and R.S.N. Rayer.
Lawyers Datuk V.Sithambaram and Hisyam Teh Poh Teik acted for Phang. – The Star Online