The prosecution handed Lim Guan Eng a forensic report on 2017 WhatsApp messages about an alleged RM2 million payment.
Deputy public prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh told the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur this morning that they reported to the former finance minister’s legal team on April 18.
The former Penang chief minister’s counsel Haijan Omar, confirmed with trial judge Azura Alwi that they have been given the report linked to the ongoing corruption trial against the accused related to the island state’s RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.
Previously, Lim filed the application to obtain the report as he sought to rely on it to prove their contentions that two prosecution witnesses lied in court over their testimonies.
On April 5, the Sessions Court granted Lim’s application for the forensic report.
Azura decided after finding two different testimonies in two courts – the Sessions Court in Shah Alam and the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur – involving the same payment voucher and cheque regarding who received the RM2 million and the purpose of the payment.
The WhatsApp conversation was between Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli and businessperson G Gnanaraja.
Lim’s defence team contended that the case was a “fixed-up” one because Zarul and other witnesses testified in the Sessions Court in Shah Alam that the RM2 million was for somebody else, not the accused.
The court matter at Shah Alam was over a case involving Gnanaraja, which was concluded in late 2021.
Four graft charges
Before the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur, Lim faces four graft charges, with a full trial set to resume in July.
One charge, framed under Section 16(A)(a) and Section 23 of the MACC Act, accuses him of using his position as then Penang chief minister for the gratification of RM3.3 million as inducement for helping a company belonging to Zarul to secure the island state’s RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.
The offence was allegedly perpetrated at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, 28th Floor, Komtar, George Town, Penang, between January 2011 and August 2017.
Under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act, the offence is punishable with imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
The second charge, also under Section 16(A)(a), accused Lim, in his capacity as the then Penang chief minister, of having solicited from Zarul bribes amounting to 10 percent of the profits to be earned by the company as gratification for helping secure the project.
The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.
The charge, framed under Section 16 of the MACC Act, provides for imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Lim also faces two counts of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million and belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed to two companies allegedly linked to the undersea tunnel project.
The two charges, framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, specify imprisonment of up to five years, whipping and a fine.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, between Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.