The MACC is free to reopen its investigation into the bungalow deal involving former finance minister Lim Guan Eng if new leads surface.
In a parliamentary reply, de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan said nothing is obstructing MACC from doing so as it is an independent enforcement body.
“MACC is an independent body that conducts investigations into graft, abuse of power and misappropriation.
“There is no obstruction (for MACC) to reopen the investigation if there is fresh evidence concerning the case,” he replied to Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas).
Takiyuddin said the then attorney-general Tommy Thomas had initially applied to the court for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) in Lim’s graft case.
“DNAA means that the accused is released, but he is not fully released.
“However, the court, after hearing the prosecution’s submission about new leads, granted him a full acquittal. The attorney-general did not appeal the court’s decision,” he said.
The PAS lawmaker was asked if the government intended to reopen the investigation into the corruption case involving Lim.
There were calls from Umno leaders, particularly those with various criminal charges, that the Muhyiddin Yassin-led government should act fairly by prosecuting the opposition.
Those urging the government to take action included former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who was convicted on all charges involving SRC International Sdn Bhd and former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who was charged for receiving bribes.
Lim was previously slapped with two charges – one for allegedly seeking gratification for himself over the conversion of state land from agriculture to residential, and the other, for the purchase of a bungalow at below market value.
It should be noted that the principles of double jeopardy prevent an acquitted person from being charged again for the alleged same offences. Under Section 302 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, such a person cannot also be tried again under a different charge relying on the same facts.
However, Section 302(4) states that an acquitted person may be subsequently charged and tried if the court which tried him was deemed not competent to try the offence.
Besides this, he was also summoned by MACC in relation to the Penang state government’s RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.
Thus far, MACC had arrested one Penang Port Commission officer and raided three companies believed linked to the case.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki had said that the investigation was related to money laundering.
The tunnel project was planned when Lim was Penang chief minister. – Malaysiakini