SEBERANG PERAI, Aug 10 — A crowd of more than 50 reporters, photographers and videographers covering Lim Guan Eng’s graft case were forced to wait outside the Butterworth courthouse here due to strict Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).
The media personnel started turning up at the courthouse as early as 6.30am and were told to wait outside the court compound.
Only 20 media personnel were allowed into the court compound, while a maximum of four reporters were permitted to enter the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sessions Court to hear the proceedings.
Lim is expected to be charged with graft at the Sessions Court here at 9am.
Overall, there was a noticeable lack of DAP and Lim supporters as they were told not to turn up in large groups due to the strict SOPs.
But about 30 people who showed up outside the court grounds at about 9am could be seen holding posters in a show of solidarity for Lim.
However, several DAP leaders such as former state excos Lim Hock Seng and Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, state exco Phee Boon Poh, state exco Soon Lip Chee and former deputy minister Liew Chin Tong were seen entering the court compound separately.
It is learnt that Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is also expected to be here today.
Lim and his lawyers, Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh, RSN Rayer and V. Vemal Arasan, arrived at the court at about 8.50am.
Lim was arrested by the MACC last Thursday after he was summoned over an investigation into the RM6.3-million Penang undersea tunnel project.
The former finance minister was charged on Friday with soliciting a bribe from the company that was awarded the contract to build the undersea tunnel.
He claimed trial to asking for 10 per cent of profits from Datuk Zarul Zulkifli as inducement to help his company, Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, get the project to build the undersea tunnel.
He was charged under Section 16 (a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009 which carries a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine of up to five times the value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
He is expected to face more graft charges at the same court here tomorrow.
Lim’s wife, Betty Chew, is also expected to be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) tomorrow.
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