High Court dismisses Guan Eng’s bid to transfer tunnel project corruption case to High Court

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The judge disagreed with Lim’s lawyer and fellow party colleague, Gobind Singh, who submitted that the High Court would be a better forum to hear his client’s corruption case.

FMT

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s bid to transfer his undersea tunnel corruption case from the sessions court to a higher court.

Judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin said Lim had failed to show exceptional circumstances for why his case warrants a higher court to hear his case.

“Corruption cases are usually heard before the sessions court. The trial judge is capable of determining the questions of law raised by the defence,” Jamil said.

This means Lim’s trial involving alleged kickbacks amounting to some RM3.3 million will commence tomorrow at the sessions court before Judge Azura Alwi.

When contacted, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin confirmed the High Court decision this afternoon.

Shaharuddin said the prosecution had submitted that the transfer application was an abuse of the court process.

He added that the prosecution submitted that this is because even if the High Court disposed of Lim’s case and the case is appealed all the way to the Federal Court, the apex court already decided on the issues linked to Lim’s case.

Lim is accused of using his position as chief minister to ask Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (Zenith) senior director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli for a 10% cut of the profits which would be made from the roads and tunnel project.

The former finance minister is also accused of seeking RM3.3 million in kickbacks to appoint Zarul’s company to undertake the project.

He also faces two counts of dishonestly misappropriating RM208.7 million worth of state land to two companies.

Lim wanted his case heard before a High Court judge on grounds that there are questions of law related to the validity of Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code as well as Sections 30, 53, 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act that need to be determined.

He said that if the transfer is allowed, he can raise the questions of law up to the Federal Court, as opposed to only the Court of Appeal if it goes to the sessions court.

The prosecution objected to the request for transfer, citing that it was aimed at stalling the trial set to begin tomorrow.