The graft trial of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon is up for case management at Penang High Court on July 26 this year.
Judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail fixed the date after being informed by Guan Eng’s counsel, R.S.N. Rayer, that the appeal by the chief minister and Phang against the dismissal of their motion to declare Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 “unconstitutional”, will be heard at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, this Thursday, April 27.
DPP Masri Mohd Daud did not object.
The 34-day trial, involving 60 witnesses, was initially set to commence on March 27.
The defence teams, however, applied to the High Court for leave to appeal against its decision, on March 7, to dismiss the defence’s motion to declare Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 as unconstitutional.
Hadhariah had dismissed the application by the defence teams on March 7.
The application, filed on Jan 6, claimed that Section 62 contravenes Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution, which reads that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty, save in accordance with law, and also Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution that reads all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law.
On June 30 last year, Guan Eng claimed trial to two counts of corruption.
For the first count, he is alleged to have used his position as a civil servant to obtain gratification for himself and his wife by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd to convert agricultural land into residential land, while chairing a state Planning Committee meeting on July 18, 2014.
He was charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, which carries a maximum 20 years’ jail sentence, and a fine of up to five time the amount of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
For the second count, he was charged with using his position to buy a house at Jalan Pinhorn from Phang for RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million, on July 28 last year.
He was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for two years’ jail, a fine, or both if convicted.
Phang claimed trial to abetment under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165.