Guan Eng to Face Two New Graft Charges on Sept 11

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Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will face two new charges for dishonest misappropriation of property at the Butterworth Sessions Court this Friday (Sept 11).

The matter was brought up by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin during mention of Lim’s corruption case for allegedly using his position as the then Chief Minister of Penang to solicit gratification to help a company to secure the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project.

“The prosecution has served the notice to the accused this morning, to inform him on the two charges under Section 403 of the Penal Code,” he told Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi on Wednesday (Sept 9).

Wan Shaharuddin said the charges to be made against Lim this Friday would be the last in connection with the undersea tunnel project.

Section 403 of the Penal Code states that whoever dishonestly misappropriates, or converts to his own use, or causes any other person to dispose of, any property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months and not more than five years and with whipping and shall also be liable to fine, if found guilty.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Lim, 60, confirmed that his client had received the notice, but said they had not seen the two new charges.

Meanwhile, Lim questioned the timing of the two impending corruption charges that will be brought against him on Friday – one day before nominations for the Sabah election.

He said he did not receive any official information from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) about the new charges until today.

“I only read about it through news reports last week. And when the news came out, I was campaigning in the interior parts of Sabah,” he said.

Lim claimed it was a political move by the anti-graft agency to leak the information to the media.

“We don’t know if the leak was deliberately done or otherwise. It was unprofessional and unfair of MACC,” he said.

When asked if he still plans to go to Sabah to aid in election campaigns after the Friday charges, Lim pointed out the timing of the fresh charges would affect his itinerary and arrangements for the campaign.

Yusof Mat Isa

“Yes, but I cannot go for the nomination on Saturday. I think you all can make your own judgments lah why they choose Friday. The timing is exquisite on their side. They want to win Sabah at all costs, I mean that’s up to them, but I think it will definitely affect my preparations,” he said.

Lim was present at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today for the mention of his two existing criminal cases that will be heard by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Lim, however, maintained that he was innocent of the existing corruption charges against him in relation to a RM6.3 billion project for roads and an undersea tunnel in Penang.

“As I mentioned before, until now the MACC has not been able to show or prove that bribes were received by me. That bribe is not in my bank account, not in my ownership in the form of cash. There are no rings, no watches, nothing that is related, so it shows that the charges are without basis.

Yusof Mat Isa

“Because as I stressed, this project was done through open tender. How is it if open tender is decided not by me, but by the state procurement board that is chaired by the state government’s chief secretary and state government officers, doesn’t involve me,” he said of the decision over the tender.

Lim also suggested that the prosecution had acted hastily in bringing a charge against him on August 10, citing the prosecution’s mistakes in naming his ethnicity as Malay when he is a Chinese and also in putting in his wrong age in court documents.

Insisting that the charges against him are a “huge mistake” and politically-motivated as the alleged bribes he was accused of receiving allegedly could not be found or traced, Lim said he will seek justice and prove his innocence in court.

Earlier, the prosecution had told the Sessions Court that it would be making amendments to the court documents for the August 10 charge, by substituting his race from “Malay” to “Chinese” and his age from 59 years to 60.