Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi today rebuked former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng for issuing a media statement on his case which sees him facing charges of corruption in the construction of the RM6.3 billion roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang.
Azura, who is presiding over the case, said this amounted to sub judice.
“I am very disappointed with this as it is still happening… it really upsets me as the case is still ongoing and I hope it does not happen again.
“Do not take this matter lightly. This case has received media coverage and is a case of public interest. I hope the accused and other parties can respect the court,” she said.
Before the trial began, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin referred the court to a police report over the statement issued by Lim, claiming that he was not guilty as no money trail was proven in connection with the charge.
“We want the court to reprimand (the accused) so that this does not happen again,” he said.
Meanwhile, lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Lim, confirmed the matter and apologised to the prosecution and the court for the statement which was issued last Friday.
“I understand the stance taken by the prosecution and apologise to the court,” Gobind said.
The proceedings then continued with the 28th prosecution witness, Azli Adam, 58, a former senior vice-president of finance and corporate services at Zenith Consortium Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhdcalled to testify.
Lim, 61, faces amended charges of using his position as Penang chief minister to solicit RM3.3 million in bribes as an inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd owner Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli in securing the project worth RM6,341,383,702.
He allegedly committed the offence at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town, between January 2011 and August 2017.
In the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10% of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project.
The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City in March 2011.
Lim, the former DAP secretary-general, also faces another 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 state’s undersea tunnel project.