KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The RM1 million corruption trial involving Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor commenced today after High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismissed defence team’s application for him to recuse himself from presiding the case.
Justice Mohd Nazlan, in a brief written judgment, said that there was no credible evidence to show that the former Federal Territories minister would not receive a fair trial.
“The circumstances of this case and the basis of the application, the assertion of the applicant that I may be influenced by the facts of the case or by the guilty plea of Datuk Tan Eng Boon or of the sentence against him to the detriment of the applicant is not sustainable.
“It is the duty of the court to ensure a fair trial based on clear evidence. There is no basis to the contention of the real danger of bias. This application is without merit, therefore I dismiss the application,” he said adding that the trial to commence immediately.
Earlier, lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, representing Tengku Adnan submitted that his client genuinely concerned that he would not get a fair trial in this court as the judge will believe Tan’s testimony.
“Tan pleaded guilty, he will be a key witness for the prosecution. My client is concerned that your lordship will believe Tan as he is not an ordinary witness, but a very important one for the prosecution,” he said.
Deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim, however, objected, saying that the accused failed to explain the ‘real danger of bias’ in his affidavit.
After the judge dismissed the application, the counsel told the court that he had received instructions from his client to file an appeal to stay the trial, but Justice Mohd Nazlan denied the stay application.
“We shall proceed with the trial,” Justice Mohd Nazlan said.
The trial which has been fixed for yesterday, was postponed following a notice of motion filed by the defence to recuse judge Mohd Nazlan from presiding the case following the guilty plea by businessman Tan, last Tuesday, on an alternative charge of abetting Tengku Adnan in receiving the RM1 million bribe. Tan was fined RM1.5 million for the offence.
On Nov 15, 2018, Tan claimed trial to giving a bribe to Tengku Adnan by depositing a Public Bank cheque of RM1 million belonging to Pekan Nenas Industries Sdn Bhd into the then minister’s CIMB Bank account as gratification to Tengku Adnan for approving an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the company’s plot ratio in regard to a development project on Lot 228, Jalan Semarak here.
On the same day (Nov 15), Tengku Adnan, 69, claimed trial to receiving the RM1 million from Tan which that was deposited into his CIMB Bank account as an inducement to assist the application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd to increase the company’s plot ratio in regard to the same project, approved by DBKL.