LGE graft case ad­journed pend­ing court de­ci­sion

CM seeks Court of Ap­peal rul­ing on Con­sti­tu­tional is­sue

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By N. TR­ISHA tr­is­hang@thes­tar.com.my

GE­ORGE TOWN: The trial date for the graft case in­volv­ing the Pe­nang Chief Min­is­ter and a busi­ness­woman has been ad­journed, pend­ing a de­ci­sion on whether there is any vi­o­la­tion of the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion.

Pe­nang High Court judge Datuk Had­hariah Syed Is­mail said the trial could not be­gin un­til the Court of Ap­peal ruled on whether Sec­tion 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) Act vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“The trial will be sus­pended pend­ing that de­ci­sion and all ear­lier trial dates will be va­cated,” she said when the case came up for case man­age­ment yes­ter­day.

Chief Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng’s coun­sel Gobind Singh Deo had filed an ap­peal with the Court of Ap­peal af­ter his ap­pli­ca­tion to a High Court to have Sec­tion 62 of the MACC Act de­clared un­con­sti­tu­tional was dis­missed.

DPP Masri Mohd Daud said the At­tor­ney- Gen­eral’s Cham­bers would file an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Court of Ap­peal to ex­pe­dite the hear­ing.

Jus­tice Had­hariah then fixed April 25 for men­tion pend­ing the Court of Ap­peal’s rul­ing.

Last June 30, Lim was charged with ob­tain­ing grat­i­fi­ca­tion for him­self and his wife Betty Chew by ap­prov­ing the con­ver­sion of two lots of agri­cul­tural land be­long­ing to Mag­nif­i­cent Em­blem into res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment while chair­ing a state Plan­ning Com­mit­tee meet­ing on July 18, 2014.

The of­fence, un­der Sec­tion 23 of the MACC Act, car­ries a jail term of up to 20 years and fine of at least five times the value of grat­i­fi­ca­tion, or RM10,000, which­ever is higher.

He faces an­other charge un­der Sec­tion 165 of the Pe­nal Code for us­ing his po­si­tion to ob­tain grat­i­fi­ca­tion by pur­chas­ing his bun­ga­low in Pin­horn Road from busi­ness­woman Phang Li Koon at RM2.8mil, be­low the mar­ket value of RM4.27mil, on July 28 2015.

The of­fence is pun­ish­able by up to two years in jail or a fine, or both.

Phang, who is charged with abet­ment, faces up to two years in jail or a fine, or both. Both Lim and Phang had pleaded not guilty.

Their cases were sup­posed to be jointly heard be­tween March and July with the trial set to start on March 27.

Ques­tions over sale: Lim’s bun­ga­low in Pin­horn Road in Pe­nang.

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