Guan Eng admitted to IJN, trial proceeds without his presence

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Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng did not show up at the Sessions Court on Tuesday (Dec 14), as he has been admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Bernama

However, his corruption trial over the Penang undersea tunnel project will proceed without his presence.

Lim’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo told the court that the Bagan MP was admitted on Sunday (Dec 12).

“He’s at the IJN now after having a medical procedure last night.

“I was informed that he has been given a medical certificate for three days, which started yesterday (Dec 13) night.

“He will be back in court on Thursday (Dec 16),” he said.

Gobind requested the trial to proceed without Lim’s presence as the prosecution is calling four formal witnesses on Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec 15).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin wished Lim a speedy recovery but said the prosecution regretted that he knew the trial had been fixed for this week and he had chosen to be admitted.

Gobind apologised to the court and assured that the defence wanted the case to go on.

Judge Azura Alwi then decided to invoke Section 264 of the Criminal Procedural Code that allows the dispensing of an accused presence for the trial on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This means the trial will go on without Lim’s presence on both days until he returns on Thursday.

Lim, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the proposed construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.

For the first amended charge, the Bagan MP, who is also a former finance minister, is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to corruptly receive RM3.3mil to help Zarul Ahmad’s company secure the project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702.

The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office.

For the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting 10% of profits from Zarul Ahmad to help the company be appointed for the same project.

Lim is charged with committing the offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, in March 2011, between 12.30am and 2am.

Lim is also charged with two counts of causing two lots of land worth RM208.8mil owned by the Penang state government to be disposed of by the developer linked to the undersea tunnel project.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office in Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017. – The Star