KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court was told that Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd (EZCB) managing director Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng was unafraid and comfortable when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recorded his statement over Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption case relating to the construction of the undersea tunnel and paired roads in the state.
MACC’s Asst Supt Mohamad Hambia, 29, said that he received instructions from his superior on July 21, 2020 to record a statement from Ewe, 52, and two statements were recorded from the businessman on July 22 and 24, 2020 at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.
“The witness was called to the MACC headquarters and arrived at 10.30am. I then brought the witness to the recording room.
“I started recording his statement at 11am,” he said.
Mohamad Hambia said he asked the witness if he was comfortable and when he replied that he was, they continued the recording.
“I also provided Ewe food and drink as I took his statement ,” he said during the examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Francine Cheryl Rajendram at Lim’s corruption trial on Tuesday (June 7).
At the previous proceeding, the 15th prosecution witness, MACC Asst Supt Muhammad Nazree Mansor, informed the court that Ewe voiced concerns over his safety after revealing information regarding the corruption case.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Hambia, the 27th prosecution witness, said after the statement was recorded, he asked Ewe to read through, write his identity card number and sign the statement to fulfil the conditions under Section 30(8) of the MACC Act.
When asked by Francine whether Ewe was given the chance to amend his statement, Mohamad replied, “Yes, but the witness (Ewe) did not amend it but signed it instead.
Ewe, who was supposed to be called as the prosecution’s 15th witness, died in a fall from a luxury condominium unit at Jalan Kelawei, Penang, on Oct 5, 2021.
However, on Dec 16, 2021, the court allowed Ewe’s recorded statement to be admissible and it was marked as evidence in the corruption trial.
Mohamad Hambia, during cross-examination by Lim’s counsel Gobind Singh Deo, said Ewe, in his recorded statement had stated that Lim and his family had never purchased a residence in the City of Dreams.
Lim is facing amended charges of using his position as Penang chief minister to accept bribes of RM3.3mil in return for assisting Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, to secure a construction project worth RM6,341,383,702, at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town between January 2011 and August 2017.
On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10% of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project which he allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, in March 2011.
Lim, who is also a former DAP secretary-general, faces another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8mil, belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.
The two offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.
The trial in front of Judge Azura Alwi will continue June 23. – Bernama