Earlier today, 11 September, former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was charged with two counts of dishonest misappropriation of property amounting to over RM200 million
Lim was charged at the Butterworth Sessions Court this morning for disposing two plots of Penang government-owned land to two companies linked to the controversial undersea tunnel project, reported New Straits Times.
He allegedly committed the crimes at the Penang Land and Mines Office in February and March 2017.
The companies - Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd - allegedly bought the two plots of land for RM135,086,094 and RM73,668,986 respectively, according to The Star.
Lim, who was Penang chief minister at the time, was charged under Section 403 of the Penal Code, which carries a sentence of up to five years' jail, whipping, and a fine.
Lim pleaded not guilty to the charges
The 60-year-old Bagan lawmaker was represented by DAP members Gobind Singh Deo, Ram Karpal Singh, RSN Rayer, and A Sivanesan.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor team consisted of Deputy Public Prosecutors Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin, Francine Cheryl Rajendram, and Selvaranjini Selvaraja.
Special Corruption Sessions Court judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid presided the proceeding today.
A photo captured by Bernama showed that Lim was accompanied by his father and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang as well as his wife Betty Chew.
The case will be transferred to Kuala Lumpur Court and 12 October has been set for case mention.
The Penang court also maintained Lim's previous RM1 million bail paid at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in one surety.
When Lim first learned he would face fresh charges on 9 September, he said that the timing of the court proceeding is "politically-motivated"
The DAP secretary-general claimed the prosecution set the case hearing on 11 September because it comes a day ahead of the Sabah state election nomination happening tomorrow, 12 September, reported The Edge Markets.
He also said the prosecution acted impartially when they leaked out the information of his new charges to the press even before he was notified on the matter.
"We don't know whether this is deliberate or not, but why leak it to the press, so this is very unprofessional and very unfair of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)," Lim told reporters on Wednesday.
"It is clear that this is an act to harass and bother me when I am campaigning in the interior of Sabah, and to leak to the mass media without informing me in advance shows that this is indeed a politically-motivated action."