A prosecutor with the Attorney-General’s Chambers said today that the charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and businessperson Phang Li Koon would not have succeeded due to weakened evidence.
AGC appellate and trial division head Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, who was responsible for reviewing the graft charges against Lim and Phang, said the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses had “weakened” the case.
“The AGC had adopted the ‘fresh eye’ technique, and I was tasked to decide on the representation made by both Lim and Phang as I had not participated in any way with the case earlier. Accordingly, I was able to consider the matter with a fresh perspective.
“…I have perused the evidence that has been investigated by MACC and the evidence that has been adduced and tested under cross-examination thus far,” he said in a statement.
“I concluded that as a result of the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses who have testified…the evidence supporting the first charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 and under Section 165 of the Penal Code has been substantially weakened.
“This conclusion was arrived at in light of fresh evidence that arose during the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.”
This led Hanafiah, who is also a deputy public prosecutor, to believe that the case against Lim and Phang would not have succeeded.
“Having made the above findings, I opined that I would not be fulfilling my duties as deputy public prosecutor to let the case continue, knowing full well that the case against both Lim and Phang would not succeed at the end of the prosecution case.
“Hence, I decided for the prosecution to enter nolle prosequi (cease further prosecution) against both Lim and Phang in accordance with Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” he said. – Malaysiakini