Lim Guan Eng's graft trial postponed to July 30, lawyers to ask for charges to be dropped

Malaysia's designated finance minister Lim Guan Eng (centre) attending a court session in Penang on March 26, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The corruption trial of Mr Lim Guan Eng, the designated finance minister of Malaysia's new Pakatan Harapan government, has been postponed to July 30, while his lawyers are asking for the charges to be dropped.

High Court Judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail fixed the date when the case came up for case management on Monday (May 21).

Mr Ramkarpal Singh, the lawyer for the former Penang Chief Minister, said they would be filing a representation on the case to the new Attorney-General, who is expected to be appointed by then.

Mr Ramkarpal told reporters outside the courtroom they would propose to the new A-G that the charges against Lim should be dropped.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud said the defence team was free to file the representation.

Neither Mr Lim nor his lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo were present in court as both are being sworn in as Cabinet ministers.

Mr Gobind is being sworn in as the Communications and Multimedia Minister while Mr Lim is being sworn in as the Finance Minister.

Mr Lim pleaded not guilty on June 30, 2016, to two counts of corruption over the conversion of agricultural land to residential status and the purchase of a plot and bungalow at below market value.

He was charged with using his position as Chief Minister to gain gratification for himself and wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng by approving the application for conversion of agricultural land to a public housing zone in Balik Pulau to a company, Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd.

Mr Lim faces a second charge of using his position to obtain a plot of land and bungalow at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, on July 28, 2015, from businesswoman Phang Li Koon for RM2.8million (S$946,278), at below market value.

Mr Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon pleaded not guilty to the charges against them on March 26.

Ms Phang's lawyer Datuk V.Sithambaram said he would also be making a similar representation to the new A-G on the charges against his client.

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