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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Guan Eng makes bid to declare Sec 62 of MACC Act 'unconstitutional'

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will file a motion today at the Penang High Court to declare Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 "unconstitutional".
Section 62 of the MACC Act deals with the defendant's defence statement and his or her right to remain silent.
It states that "Once delivery of documents by the prosecution pursuant to Section 51a of the Criminal Procedure Code has taken place, the accused shall, before commencement of the trial, deliver the following documents to the prosecution: (a) a defence statement setting out in general terms the nature of the defence and the matters on which the accused takes issue with the prosecution, with reasons; and (b) a copy of any document which would be tendered as part of the evidence for the defence."
Lim's lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said the motion will be filed today.
Businesswoman Phang Li Koon, who is charged with two corruption charges together with Lim, filed the same motion on Wednesday.
Justice Hadariah Syed Ismail had fixed Feb 7 to hear the motions.
"However, we are not going to postpone the date of the trial which starts at the end of March.
"The Corruption Act has been around for sometime and the wording of the section will not be changed; the court's function is only to interpret.
"Also do not send me letters to change the date to hear the motion on Feb 7, it is fixed," she said.
Justice Hadariah said this case has been going on since July last year, but there has been "talk only".
"The intention of the court is to have the trial in March, so less talk the better," she added.
Last month, the Penang High Court fixed 34 days this year, starting March for Lim and Phang's graft trial involving the purchase of his bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn.
The court will hear the testimonies of 60 witnesses and deliberate on 13,000 documents in 35 bundles.
The prosecution team is led by DPP Masri Mohd Daud.
The dates fixed are March 27 to 31, April 10 to 14, 24 to 28, May 15 to 19, 29 to June 2, June 13 to 16, and Jul 17 to 21.
Meanwhile, Justice Hadariah queried why the 13,000 documents in 35 bundles have not been tendered in court.
"We would like to tender the original documents so that you will not be prejudiced," said Masri, who leads a five-member prosecution team.
"I cannot be prejudiced, I cannot be swayed right or left, I am always straight.
"I did not hear about the documents, so out of curiosity, I am asking about it," the judge replied.
Phang's lawyer V Sithambaran said the prosecution and defence will decide on the facts of the case before tendering the documents to the court.
Gobind said the defence team only received the documents today and would have to review them by Feb 7.
Lim and Phang were not present in court today.- Mkini

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