Thursday, January 20, 2022

Statements of late developer admitted as evidence in Guan Eng’s graft trial

The court says it is satisfied that the statements were given by Ewein Bhd founder Ewe Swee Keng himself to the MACC.

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The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today allowed the statements recorded from Ewein Bhd founder and executive chairman Ewe Swee Keng before his death two months ago to be admitted as evidence in the corruption trial of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

Judge Azura Alwi granted an application by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin for the statements of Ewe, 53, to be marked as exhibits and used in the trial of Lim in connection with the Penang undersea tunnel and paired roads project.

“The court is satisfied that the statements were given by Ewe himself to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recording officer as part of investigation under Section 30 of the MACC Act 2009, especially Subsection 38 of the same act.

“Therefore, any dispute on non-compliance with this subsection is rejected. In this connection, the court allows the statements of Ewe to be admitted as exhibits in this case,” she said.

Ewe, who was supposed to have been called as the 15th prosecution witness, died after he reportedly fell from a luxury condominium in Jalan Kelawei, Penang, on Oct 5.

Defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo had objected to the statements, claiming that they were fabricated.

At today’s hearing, the court heard the testimony of former Penang state financial officer Mokhtar Mohd Jait, 64, who confirmed that the paired roads and undersea tunnel construction project was awarded by open tender to Consortium Zenith Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG).

The 21st prosecution witness said the project was offered to CZBUCG through a bidding process according to the prescribed terms and conditions.

CZBUCG was appointed to implement the project because the company had scored the “highest marks” in the overall financial and technical evaluation, he said.

According to the first amended charge, Lim, 60, is accused of using his position as then Penang chief minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3 million for helping a company owned by Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli secure the construction project worth RM6,341,383,702. The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar in George Town between January 2011 and August 2017.

According to the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10% of the profits from Zarul to be earned by the company as gratification for helping Zarul’s company secure the project. The offence was allegedly committed near The Garden Hotels, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City in March 2011.

The DAP secretary-general also faces two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the undersea tunnel project, between February 2015 and March 2017.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

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