TTF: Tommy, please step down.
I’m not going to repeat myself here (refer news item below to find out what Tommy said), so to find out why this Tommy fellow is so full of it, follow the links below, starting with latest article I published followed by those preceding, including one that contains a police report I lodged against the AG:
2. With Shukri leading the MACC, I am shocked that Ramkarpal is shocked that the MACC is shocked regarding LGE’s acquittal
5. Najib failkan saman terhadap Shukri Abdull, Tommy Thomas dan Amar Singh atas dakwaan bersikap prejudis
KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said its decision to withdraw corruption charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon was not influenced by anyone and done without fear or favour.
In a statement today, AGC Head of Appellate and Trial Divison Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria also clarified that Attorney General Tommy Thomas had no hand in the decision as he had already recused himself in all deliberations regarding the case from the onset.
Hanafiah also touched on the secrecy surrounding the AGC’s decision not to proceed with the case.
He said the decision was only communicated to Datuk Masri Mohd Daud – who is the Director of Legal and Prosecution Division of MACC and a Deputy Public Prosecutor, at 7.18am yesterday when he was already in Penang.
“It ought to be emphasised that the decision in respect of initiating prosecution or discontinuing it is a matter within the prerogative and powers of the Public Prosecutor.
“In this case, I kept confidential my decision until the very last minute and did not consult the investigative agency fearing it might leak and cause unnecessary alarm.
“In fact, my decision was so confidential that I only informed the AG personally at 9.44am yesterday,” he said.
However, he said in spite of the prosecution request for the court to order a discharge not amounting to acquittal, the judge decided to discharge and also acquit both accused following an application by the defence counsel.
He said the AGC had adopted the ‘fresh eye’ technique to relook the case, and he was tasked to decide on the representations made by the accused as he had not participated in any way with the case earlier.
“Accordingly, I was able to consider the matter with a fresh perspective.
“I have perused the evidence that was investigated by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and also evidence that was adduced in the course of the trial so far.
“I concluded that as a result of the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses who have testified so far, the evidence supporting the first charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act and under Section 165 of the Penal Code has been substantially weakened. This conclusion was arrived in light of fresh evidence that has arisen during the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses,” he said.
Hanafiah said he then concluded that the case against both accused would not succeed at the end of the prosecution case.
“Hence, I decided for the prosecution to enter nolle prosequi against both Lim and Phang in accordance with Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” he said.
Nolle prosequi is applied when the prosecutor does not propose to further prosecute the accused.
He noted that the practise to enter nolle prosequi was not something out of the ordinary as it had been exercised in many other cases.
He said this was done upon representation by counsel and upon discovery of fresh evidence or that the evidence has weakened under cross examination.
It was reported that the Penang High Court had freed Lim and Phang over their corruption charges relating to the purchase of bungalow at Jalan Kebung Bunga two years ago.
Masri had applied for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal but Lim’s head counsel, Ramkarpal Singh, and Phang’s lead counsel, Datuk V. Sithambaram, had requested for a full acquittal.
Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, in her judgment, agreed with the counsels that the charges “cannot be hanging over the head of the accused indefinitely” and freed bot accused.
On June 30, 2016, Lim claimed trial to using his position as a public officer, namely, as the then chief minister of Penang, to gain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng.
He was accused of doing so by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in the southwest district to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.
He was charged with committing the offence while chairing the State Planning Committee meeting at the operations room, Level 28, Komtar building, on July 18, 2014.
The charge under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
In the second charge, Lim also claimed trial to using his position to obtain for himself a plot of land and a house, located at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, from Phang for RM2.8 million, a price which he allegedly knew did not commensurate with the property’s then market value of RM4.27 million.
The offence was allegedly committed at No 25 Jalan Pinhorn, George Town here on Oct 21, 2015.
The charge was under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both.
Phang was charged with abetting Lim in obtaining the bungalow at an undervalued cost at the same place and date.
She was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165 of the same law, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
Source: NST Online