GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The High Court has given the prosecution until Sept 3 to decide whether to proceed with the corruption charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
This came after the prosecution asked for a month to deliberate on a letter of representations submitted by the lawyers of Mr Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon to review their charges.
During Monday's (July 30) court proceedings, where Lim was not present, counsel Ramkarpal Singh told the court that the representations dated July 6 had been submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers.
High Court judge, Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail, then fixed Sept 3 for case management as both counsel did not object to it.
Outside the court, Mr Ramkarpal said they had requested for the charges to be dropped.
"In the representations, we urged the A-G to consider withdrawing the charges. The prosecution needs time to consider the representations which are quite comprehensive."
"There has been no confirmation as to what the decision would be," he said at the court complex to address talks that the charges would be dropped.
The joint trial of Lim, who is former Penang chief minister, and Phang was in connection with the conversion of land from agriculture to residential and the purchase of a plot of land and a bungalow at below market value.
Lim was sworn in as Finance Minister on May 21, following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the May 9 polls.
Mr Ramkarpal, when questioned on the representations even though the case was partly heard, answered that the Attorney-General had the discretion to decide based on the evidence put forward to him.
"We have put in our representations and the A-G will consider it as well," he said.
Phang's lawyer, Datuk V. Sithambaram, said they had also furnished documents and reports for the consideration of the Attorney-General.
Lim was charged with using his position as chief minister to gain gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew by approving the application for conversion of agricultural land to a public housing zone in Balik Pulau to Magnificent Emblem.
He 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 Phang for RM2.8 million (S$938,860.47), below market value.
DPPs Abdul Rashid Daud, Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul and Mohd Zain Ibrahim prosecuted.