KUALA LUMPUR: Former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today apologised to the Sessions Court after he was warned by the judge for commenting on his ongoing undersea tunnel corruption trial.
Lim tendered the apology twice through his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo after Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin urged the court to reprimand Lim over the matter.
The prosecutor raised the issue at the onset of Lim’s trial today after informing Judge Azura Alwi about what the accused had done.
“I want to bring this to the court’s attention. Lim had issued a statement about his ongoing case claiming that he was innocent and there was no money trail and all that.
“We want this court to reprimand him so that he does not repeat what he has done,” he said, before Gobind stood up and admitted his client’s action.
However, Gobind’s explanation did not seem to appease the judge and she immediately rebuked Lim over what he had done.
Azura reminded the DAP politician of her advice at the start of the trial that all parties must refrain from commenting on the ongoing trial.
“This is not new to any of you…it is not your first time in court.
“I am really disappointed. It has really upset me because the trial is ongoing.
“Make sure you take heed of it and don’t take this lightly,” she said, before asking the DPP whether the prosecution was just seeking a reprimand against the accused.
However, before Wan Shaharuddin could reply, Gobind jumped up and apologised on behalf of his client.
He said the defence would take note of the court’s reprimand before going on to say sorry again.
It was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had lodged a report against Lim over his statement after a developer – Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, had testified about giving bribes to him at the last hearing on Friday.
Lim had described the testimony made by the key prosecution witness – whose company Consortium Zenith Construction was given the undersea tunnel project, as false, fabricated, and a political conspiracy.
Lim is facing four charges of using his position as the then chief minister to solicit gratification to help the company secure the RM6.3 billion project.
He is alleged to have sought 10 per cent of the profit to be made by the company from Zarul.
He is also accused of receiving RM3.3 million for himself and causing two plots of land belonging to the state government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the tunnel project.