KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has questioned the prosecution over minor amendments of his corruption charges, even asking if it was a “political conspiracy”.
In a statement today, Lim said he found the amendments to be “disturbing” as it took the prosecution one and a half years after the original charges before making a change and said they should have done better work when charging a “Penang Chief Minister”.
“I personally find the decision by the prosecution to amend charges disturbing, one and a half years after they first charged me.
“If the prosecution can do their work properly without amending criminal charges filed against cases involving minor offences, why can they not adopt the same professional standards against a Chief Minister?
“Whether this is part of a political conspiracy by the prosecution out to get me, will be up to the court of public opinion to judge,” Lim said.
The DAP secretary-general was replying to Barisan Nasional (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s statement on Friday.
In the statement, Abdul Rahman questioned whether Lim deliberately delayed his corruption trial over his RM2.8 million purchase of a double-storey standalone house. He added that it was Lim’s own fault if he could not contest in the upcoming 14th general election.
Lim defended himself saying that it was his constitutional right to defend himself fully in court.
“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has again resorted to theatrics by implying that I deliberately attempted to delay my trial for corruption. This is untrue.
“Has Abdul Rahman conveniently forgotten that all three judges in the Court of Appeal agreed with my argument that my right to a fair trial was severely compromised when I had to submit my defence before the commencement of my trial? “ Lim asked, adding that he was also cited for contempt of court by the Attorney-General.
Lim’s trial is set to start on March 26.
Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were charged with graft over his house purchase deal in 2015.
Lim was charged with using his public office or position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land to residential purpose during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.
Lim is alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from Phang at RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million on July 28, 2015.
Phang meanwhile was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Lim on July 28 last year in regards to his purchase of the house on Pinhorn Road from her for RM2.8 million which was below the market value or RM4.27 million whereby Lim had allegedly committed an offense under Section 165 of the Penal Code.