Guan Eng to set aside AG’s contempt application

gobind

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng wants to set aside the contempt proceedings initiated by Attorney-General (AG) Mohd Apandi Ali against him.

The court fixed November 25 as the next case management date.

His lawyer Gobind Singh disclosed this after meeting High Court judge Justice Hanipah Farikullah in chambers on Wednesday.

“We indicated to the court that his (Guan Eng’s) instructions were to apply to set aside the leave and, alternatively, strike out the application,” said Gobind.

Both parties (Guan Eng and the AG’s Chambers) have to first transcribe the press conference during which the former had alleged that his criminal charges, over a bungalow purchase, were politically motivated, said the lawyer.

The AG claims that Guan Eng, also Penang Chief Minister, scandalised the court through the statement.

“The AGC produced two DVDs of the press conference,” said Gobind. “We will propose to produce one DVD of the same press conference.”

The AG was granted leave last month by the High Court to initiate contempt proceedings against Guan Eng for his press statement.

The Penang Chief Minister made the statement after he was charged with alleged graft over the bungalow purchase.

Apandi wants Guan Eng to be committed to prison for uttering comments which, he alleged, threatens the administration of justice and insults the integrity of the court system.

He added that as the guardian of public interest, he has to ensure the judiciary and administration of justice were protected.

Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Khoon were charged at the Sessions Court in Penang, on June 30, over the bungalow purchase last year.

The Penang Chief Minister claimed trial to two charges before Sessions Court judge Roslan Hamid. The first was under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and the other under Section 165 of the Penal Code.

Under the MACC Act, Guan Eng was charged with using his public office or position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land for residential purpose.

He was alleged to have done this during a state exco meeting on 18 July 2014. The state exco reportedly rejected the application.

If convicted, the Penang Chief Minister can be jailed up to 20 years, fined five times the value of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

For the charge under Section 165, Guan Eng was said to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing a bungalow from Phang at RM2.8 million, reportedly below the property’s market value of RM4.7 million on July 28 last year.

The second offence carries imprisonment of a maximum two years, a fine, and forfeiture of property upon conviction.

Phang was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Lim on July 28 on the bungalow purchase.

Phang and Guan Eng were granted RM1 million bail each with one surety.