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Defence applies for copy of witness statement in undersea tunnel graft case

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The defence has applied for a copy of the main witness’ statement recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection to the investigation of a corruption case involving former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and a businessman.

Lim’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo said the document was needed to initiate the proceeding of challenging the credibility of the witness, namely the director of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli as there were conflicting statements in his testimony in court.

“The defence has a right to question Datuk Zarul with regard to the alleged MYR2 million each given to Lim Guan Eng and former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak through G Gnanaraja as a middleman in 2017.

“In the prior proceedings Datuk Zarul said it was MYR2 million for only Lim Guan Eng, so there is a serious conflict in his testimony and therefore we apply to challenge his credibility under Section 145 of the Evidence Act 1950,” said Gobind. Gobind said, that while testifying to MACC in Gnanaraja’s case in the Shah Alam Sessions Court, Zarul stated that the MYR2 million given to the businessman was to stop the MACC case against his company.

Yesterday, Zarul told the court that a cheque of MYR2 million was given to Lim in connection with the undersea tunnel and main roads project in Penang, while MYR2 million in cash was given to Najib to stop MACC’s investigation on his company.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin objected to the application saying it was not done according to procedure, had no basis and was merely an attempt to fish for information from Zarul’s statement, adding that the defence can cross-examine the witness to obtain the information instead.

“The application is premature at this stage and is only based on Datuk Zarul’s testimony that he had made a correction in his statement to MACC. The defence actually wants to scrutinise the statement to see if the correction has been made, not to start a proceeding to challenge his credibility,” said Wan Shaharuddin.

Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng at the Session Court in Malaysia. PHOTO: BERNAMA