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DPP to Gobind: "Don't get personal"

Publish date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023, 03:54 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Lim Guan Eng corruption trial today urged the defence not to resort to personal attacks when contended their argument in court.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Mohamad Akram Gharib said this after a continuous tiff between his colleague Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Lim's lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo today.

Gobind claimed that the prosecution had suppressed evidence relating to Lim's corruption charges by not providing the defence with a WhatsApp conversation between two key witnesses in the case.

The chat was between Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli and G. Gnanaraja involving RM2 million bribes purportedly meant for the former Penang chief minister.

Wan Shaharuddin, who was irked by Gobind's statement, repeatedly stated that the document that the defence sought was not related to the trial.

He said the defence was just engaging in a fishing and roving exercise during the proceedings.

Akram then stood up and reminded the defence to present their argument based on facts and evidence.

"This personal attack against the DPPs needs to stop because we are all here as officers of the court.

"This will attract unnecessary media attention... We are here just to do our job.

"We have no personal interest here... we still receive the same salary," he said before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi.

Addressing the defence's argument, Akram said Gobind could have a field day grilling their witnesses when they took the stand later.

"We will call Gnanaraja as our witness... you can ask him about it (WhatsApp conversation).

"Thus, this application is frivolous," he said.

However, Gobind reiterated his stance that the WhatsApp conversation would prove that the prosecution witness lied in court.

"We do not want to get personal, but the law says if there is a case where the prosecution has the document that can assist the defence and declined to produce it, we need to make an application.

"If it becomes personal, those are the facts.

"The evidence is this, in the conversation, there is reference to RM2 million which the witness said was given to Lim.

"In the messages, it will be shown that the RM2 million was for someone else," he said.

The court then set April 5 for decision.

Zarul in his testimony said he gave Lim RM2 million in cash through Gnanaraja.

He said the money was given to Gnanaraja in two separate sports bags near the Eastin Hotel which were put in the latter's Bentley.

Zarul said a middleman was used as he was under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s radar at that time.

Lim is facing four charges of using his position as the then chief minister to solicit gratification to help Consortium Zenith Construction to secure the tunnel project.

He is alleged to have sought 10 per cent of the profit to be made by the company from its owner, Zarul.

He is also accused of receiving RM3.3 million for himself and causing two plots of land belonging to the state government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the tunnel project.

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