After three months, the Penang High Court was again the centre of attention of many as the corruption case involving Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon over the purchase of a bungalow at below market value came up for mention today.
Judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail set Dec 6 for further case management to enable the prosecution to complete its numerous documents and submit them to the defence team and the court.
Hadhariah said she did not want the trial to be delayed.
“My instruction is this. I want this trial to commence smoothly and (proceed) in a fast and speedy manner. Make sure every bundle of the documents are properly paginated. Let there be no more missing pages,” she said in a packed courtroom.
The judge said two months was ample of time for the parties to complete the documents, which involved more than 10 volumes.
Earlier, lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Lim, informed the court that the defence team received documents pertaining to the case from the prosecution on Sept 9, but they were not in order.
“The prosecution had served on the defence the CD containing various documents. The documents are of 13,000 pages but they are not in order and there is no indexing and some pages are not clear,” he said and asked the court to fix another date for further case management. Deputy Public Prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud did not object.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Phang, suggested a period of two months for the parties to resolve the issue of the documents.
He also applied to the court to exclude Phang and Lim from being present on Dec 6 and the judge granted the request.
On June 30, Lim pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption in relation to the conversion of land from agricultural to residential and the purchase of a plot of land and bungalow at below market value.
On the first count, Lim was charged as a civil servant, namely as the Chief Minister of Penang, for using his position to gain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in southwest Penang to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.