by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
FORMER Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture) who pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today to a charge with soliciting gratification to help a company to secure the Penang undersea tunnel project, was allowed bail of RM1 million with two sureties.
Judge Azura Alwi allowed Lim, 60, to pay RM500,000 of the bail amount today, with the balance by this Monday and for the Bagan Member of Parliament to surrender his passports, including the diplomatic passport, to the court.
The judge also reminded the prosecution and the defence against making any comments that will subjudice the case.
“Once the case is in the court, it is your respective responsibility to not make any comments that subjudice the case. Complaints can be made if there is such a comment,” said Azura, who also set Sept 9 for mention.
On the prosecution’s application for Lim to report himself at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya on the first week of every month, Azura said it was not necessary as the bail amount set was high.
Earlier, MACC deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin proposed bail of RM2 million with two Malaysian sureties against Lim and for his travel documents to be surrendered to the court.
Wan Shaharuddin said the RM2 million bail amount was reasonable considering Lim’s status as Penang Chief Minister then and that he had breached the trust given to him.
“I request the court to take into account the type of offence that was (allegedly) committed and the position held by the accused at that time. Corruption is like cancer because a civilized society can collapse in the blink of an eye with these corruption offences. Malaysia can collapse in one night with corruption.
“The prosecution also hope that this court is not bound by the previous decision of the Penang Court in not ordering the surrender of the accused’s passport to the court (as) in the bungalow case made against him,” he added.
Wan Shaharuddin also requested the court to order Lim to not intimidate the witnesses in the case, and if there was any complaints of him doing so, for his bail to be revoked.