Today’s two misappropriation of property charges against former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will be the final round of charges against him, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin.
He told reporters outside the courtroom that today’s charges are “the mother of all charges”.
“Villagers would say if we see the head and body, we will want to see the tail so this is the tail,” he said.
He said it would be the final round of charges levelled against Lim, who is also a former finance minister.
Wan Shaharudin then expressed his confidence in winning the case.
“It is the AGC policy to only charge cases with a 99 per cent chance of winning, with the remaining one per cent left to the act of God,” he said.
He said he will be calling about 10 main witnesses, who are mostly based in Kuala Lumpur, to testify in the case when hearing starts.
Earlier today, Lim was slapped with two charges of misappropriating state government lands worth a total RM208,755,080 to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd separately.
He claimed trial to committing the offences on two separate occasions first on February 17 in 2015 and the second on March 22 in 2017.
Wan Shaharudin had applied for both cases to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court and Sessions Court Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid allowed the application.
The cases will be heard together with Lim’s two other graft charges, also related to the undersea tunnel project in Penang, on October 12.
Guan Eng claims trial to misappropriation of lands worth RM209m in total
Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has claimed trial to two misappropriation of property charges against him at the Butterworth Sessions Court here.
Lim was first charged with dishonestly misappropriating a state government land, Lot Number HS (D) 18801, PT Lot 702 Section 1, Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM135,086,094 to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd.
He allegedly committed the offence at the Lands and Mines Department in Penang at Level 21 in Komtar on February 17 in 2015.
He faced a second charge of dishonestly misappropriating a state government land, Lot Number HS (D) 19318, PT Lot 10012 Section 1, Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM73,668,986 to Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd.
He allegedly committed the second offence at the Lands and Mines Department in Penang at Level 21 in Komtar on March 22 in 2017.
He was charged under Section 403 of the Penal Code for dishonestly misappropriating a property for his own use.
The section carries a punishment of jail not less than six months and not more than five years and with whipping and shall also be liable to a fine.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin applied for both cases to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
He told the court that most of the main witnesses were based in Kuala Lumpur and that Lim’s two other graft charges were being heard there too.
“These cases should be transferred to Kuala Lumpur in the interest of justice and convenience for the safety of the documents and the logistics in keeping it,” he told the court.
Lim’s lead counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, objected to the transfer of the cases by pointing out that the cases were related to lands in Penang and that there were also witnesses in Penang.
However, Sessions Court Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid allowed the application for the cases to be transferred to Kuala Lumpur.
He also allowed Lim to extend the bail of RM1 million with one surety that he had paid last month at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Last month, Lim was charged with three separate counts of graft at both the Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth Sessions Court.
He faced a charge of soliciting a bribe related to the undersea tunnel project under Section 16 (a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009 in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on August 7.
He was then charged with abuse of power to obtain gratification of RM3.3 million in relation to the undersea tunnel under Section 23(1) of the same act at the Butterworth Sessions Court on August 10.
This charge was also transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court and was fixed for mention on October 12, the same date as the other cases.
Today’s two fresh charges will also be mentioned on October 12 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Lim faced another charge of using his position as the Penang Chief Minister to obtain gratification of RM372,009.00 for his wife, Betty Chew, while businesswoman Phang Li Koon was charged with abetting him.
Chew was charged with three counts of receiving proceeds from an unlawful activity totalling RM372,009 under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).