Court rejects developer’s application to stall RM1 million graft trial

Property developer Tan Eng Boon.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today dismissed an application to stay the trial of a property developer charged with bribing former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor with RM1 million over land deals involving the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said there was no compelling reason to grant a stay pending the outcome of an appeal, citing the recent Federal Court ruling in the case of Public Prosecutor v Najib Razak.

“There are no exceptional or unusual circumstances warranting a stay,” Nazlan said, dismissing the application by businessman Tan Eng Boon.

Tan’s trial will take place before Nazlan from Sept 10 to 12.

On March 20, another High Court judge, Mohamad Zaini Mazlan, allowed the prosecution’s application to transfer Tan’s corruption case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Tan had filed an appeal to stop the trial pending a decision by the Court of Appeal.

Tan, who is the director of a property and development company, pleaded not guilty on Nov 15 last year to giving RM1 million in bribes to Tengku Adnan via a Public Bank cheque belonging to Pekan Nenas Industries Sdn Bhd.

The cheque was deposited into a CIMB Bank account owned by Tengku Adnan.

Tan was charged with making the payment to Tengku Adnan for the approval of an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the industrial plot ratio of a piece of land at Jalan Semarak.

Tengku Adnan, who is Putrajaya MP, is also charged with receiving the RM1 million from Tan. The trial has also been fixed before Nazlan from Sept 10 to 12.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Putra World Trade Centre CIMB bank branch here on Dec 27, 2013.

Nazlan will rule on Aug 9 on an application by the prosecution to have a joint trial for Adnan and Tan.

Deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim today submitted that a joint trial could be held as the facts of both cases are similar.

“Two cases of similar facts can be merged as there is a unity of purpose and design,” she said.

She said Tengku Adnan and Tan were supposed to be charged in the same court on the same day but that this could not be done due to the e-filing procedure.

However, lawyer Faisal Moideen, who represented Tan, said his client would be seriously prejudiced if the defence was called.

“As co-accused, Tengku Adnan cannot be compelled to give evidence or we cannot cross-examine him should he elect to remain silent,” he said.