Ex-minister Dr Ling acquitted of cheating Putrajaya in PKFZ land deal


(TMI) – The Najib administration was left red-faced today after former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik was acquitted of charges that he had cheated Putrajaya in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) land deal.

The government made the headline-grabbing charge against the former MCA president hoping to bolster its anti-corruption credentials, but like a litany of other high profile cases brought against so-called big fish, this too ended in a humiliating defeat.

High Court Judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, in acquitting the former transport minister and MCA president, said the defence had created a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.

In a packed courtroom, the judge said he was not reading the 42-page judgment but will only deliver the verdict.

“The accused is cleared of all charges as the defence has created a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case,” Ahmadi said.

His supporters clapped while a cool and composed Dr Ling, the first person with the honorific title “Tun” to be charged with a criminal offence, walked out of the dock and was swarmed by those present to shake his hand.

He, however, declined to speak to the media.

“No comment”, he said while placing his finger to his lips, gesturing that he would not say anything.

Counsel Wong Kian Kheong appeared for Dr Ling while the prosecution team was led by deputy solicitor-general III Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.

Abdul Majid was not present as he is away to perform his Haj.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup, who assisted Abdul Majid, said the prosecution will study the judgment before deciding whether to appeal. It has 10 days from today to file the notice of appeal.

Nine witnesses, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, gave evidence for Dr Ling.

Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years, was also the finance minister between 2000 and 2003, when Dr Ling was alleged to have committed the offences.

The judgment showed that Dr Mahathir’s evidence rebutted the prosecution’s case which led to Dr Ling’s acquittal.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ex-minister-dr-ling-acquitted-of-cheating-putrajaya-in-pkfz-land-deal1