Court rejects application for arrest warrant against witness in Guan Eng case

Court rejects application for arrest warrant against witness in Guan Eng case

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here rejected the defense’s application for an arrest warrant to be issued against a key prosecution witness in the trial of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for not submitting a medical certificate during today’s proceedings.

Judge Azura Alwi said Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd Director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, 65, did not submit the certificate today because previously, he would do so if he was unwell.

“I do not intend to issue an arrest warrant against him. I understand the travel and preparations made by the lawyers and the accused.

However, I feel that previously (if) the witness was unwell, he would inform the court, only today,” she said.

The court then adjourned today’s proceedings and directed Zarul Ahmad to submit a medical certificate by June 7. Earlier, RSN Rayer’s lawyer, representing Guan Eng, requested the court to issue a warning to the witness and issue an arrest warrant against him for not submitting a medical certificate.

“We are aware of his health condition, and throughout the trial, sometimes I asked him to rest, but today has been set for proceedings challenging credibility, and the medical certificate was not submitted. Therefore, an arrest warrant can be issued against him,” he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said he was informed at 10:15 am by the investigating officer that the witness was experiencing vertigo and could not attend court today.

On March 4, Azura allowed Guan Eng’s application to commence proceedings challenging Zarul Ahmad’s credibility after finding discrepancies in his statement to the MACC with his statement in the Sessions Court.

According to the first amended charge, Guan Eng, 63, is accused of using his position to receive bribes amounting to RM3.3 million by assisting Zarul Ahmad’s company in being appointed to implement the Penang Main Roads and Tunnel Construction Project valued at RM6,341,383,702 between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Chief Minister’s Office in Penang.

For the second amended charge, he is accused of soliciting a 10 percent bribe from the profits to be obtained from Zarul Ahmad as payment for assisting the businessman’s company in being appointed for the same project.

Guan Eng is alleged to have committed the act near Hotel The Gardens, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here between 12:30 am and 2 am in March 2011. He also faces two charges of causing two lots of land owned by the Penang State Government worth RM208.8 million to be disposed of to a developer company related to the underwater tunnel project in the state at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.

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