The judge says the prosecution's applications for adjournments should not reflect badly on the judiciary. The case will proceed on Oct 31.
KUALA LUMPUR: The trial judge hearing the case of former transport minister Chan Kong Choy, who is facing charges related to the Port Klang Free Trade Zone financial fiasco, today ticked off the prosecution for wanting to postpone the case for a third occasion.
Justice Zamani Abdul Rahim, attached to the Penang High Court but hearing the case here, told the head of the prosecution in the case DPP Nordin Hassan that it was the third time that they had applied for postponement although he was prepared to proceed with the trial.
“I do not want the public to have a perception that the court was not ready… the public perception should be corrected. Besides I should not be seen as controlling or supporting the application for adjournements,” Zamani told Nordin in court this morning.
“Makan angin (vacationing) is not my character, you can check with the High Court in Penang, where I don’t tolerate this kind of application and hope Oct 31 will be the final date,” he said before setting the same date to hear two other defence applications to transfer the case before another judge and for him to step down from hearing the matter.
Nordin in applying for the postponement said the Attorney General’s office needed more time to make a representation related to the charges against Chan.
He also told the court that defence counsel Tan Hock Chuan had no objection on the latest application and urged the court to use its discreation in granting a later date.
The case was set for trial on April 2 this year after Tan informed the court a representation has been sent to the AG’s office. The matter was then postponed to April 23.
However, on April 23, Nordin informed Zamani that the prosecution needed more time to study the representation.
Chan was charged on Feb 28 last year with three counts of cheating former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by deceiving him into approving Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) as the turnkey developer for the RM1.9 billion transport hub in Pulau Indah Free Zone and renovation works at the PKFZ site, between 2004 and 2006.
Chan, 57, allegedly concealed the fact that the project would be funded by a KDSB bond through Transshipment Megahub Berhad, supported by himself as transport minister.
He was charged under Section 417 of the Penal Code which is punishable by five years imprisonment or fine or both for each count, upon conviction.