High Court allows joint corruption trial for Ku Nan and Tan Eng Boon

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): The High Court had today allowed the prosecution's application for the joint hearing of former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Paragon Globe Bhd ex-chairman Datuk Tan Eng Boon's corruption trials, as the Criminal Procedural Code terms have been met. Tengku Adnan is also known as Ku Nan.

High Court Judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said that while the general rule is to have separate trials for different accused and charges, the transactions in the charges against Tengku Adnan and Tan are identical.

Nazlan said the only difference is that Tan was charged under section 16(b)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corrpution Commission (MACC) Act 2009, while Tengku Adnan was accused under section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act.

It was reported that Tan is accused of giving — and Ku Nan receiving — RM1 million for the approval of Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd's application (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd), to increase the plot ratio relating to the development of Lot 228 along Jalan Semarak here.

If found guilty, Tan may be jailed for up to 20 years and fined no less than five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher. He also faces an alternative charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code, for allegedly abetting Ku Nan in committing the same offence.

Tan and Ku Nan were charged separately at the Sessions Court on Nov 15 last year.

The Sessions Court had on Jan 7 this year, approved the prosecution's application to transfer Ku Nan's case to the High Court. Subsequently, his hearing is set to begin on Sept 3 this year.

Tan’s lawyer Faisal Moideen had earlier said that a joint trial will result in him not being able to cross examine Tengku Adnan. Faisal said as a co-accused, Tengku Adnan can be a non-compellable witness.

Today, Nazlan however argued that the reason is not sufficient to dismiss the joint trial application, as it is a natural consequence of such trials.

“As such, I have allowed the application for a joint trial,” said Nazlan, who set the next case management date on Aug 20 at 2:30pm.

Speaking to reporters later, Faisal said he is awaiting further instructions from his client, on whether to appeal against Nazlan’s decision.