Statements of late developer Ewe admitted as evidence in Lim’s corruption trial

by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The Sessions Court here today allowed statements which were recorded from Ewein Bhd founder and executive chairman Datuk Ewe Swee Keng before his death two months ago to be admitted as evidence in the corruption trial of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng (picture).

Judge Azura Alwi granted an application by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin for the statements of Ewe, 53, to be marked as exhibits and used in the trial of Lim in connection with the Penang undersea tunnel and paired roads project.

“The court is satisfied that the statements were given by Ewe himself to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recording officer as part of investigation under Section 30 of the MACC Act 2009, especially subsection 38 of the same act.

“Therefore, any dispute on non-compliance with this subsection is rejected. In this connection, the court allows the statements of Ewe to be admitted as exhibits in this case,” she said.

Ewe, who was supposed to have been called as the 15th prosecution witness, died after he reportedly fell from a luxury condominium in Jalan Kelawei, Penang, on Oct 5.

At earlier proceedings, defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo objected to the statements, claiming that they were fabricated.

At today’s hearing, the court heard the testimony of former Penang state financial officer Datuk Seri Mokhtar Mohd Jait, 64, who confirmed that the paired roads and undersea tunnel construction project was awarded by open tender to Consortium Zenith Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG).

The 21st prosecution witness said the project was offered to CZBUCG through a bidding process according to the prescribed terms and conditions.

CZBUCG was appointed to implement the project because the company had scored the “highest marks” in overall financial and technical evaluation, he said.

According to the first amended charge, Lim, 60, is accused of using his position as then Penang Chief Minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3 million for helping a company owned by Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to secure the construction project worth RM6,341,383,702. The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar in George Town between January 2011 and August 2017.

On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits from Zarul Ahmad to be earned by the company as gratification for helping his (Zarul) company to secure the project. The offence was allegedly committed near The Garden Hotels, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011.

The DAP secretary-general also faces two charges of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies, which are linked to the undersea tunnel project, between February 2015 and March 2017.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.

The hearing continues tomorrow.