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China Daily Website

Ex-Malaysian minister acquitted in port case

Updated: 2013-10-25 14:47
( Xinhua)

KUALA LUMPUR - A former Malaysian cabinet minister was acquitted on Friday of charges with allegedly cheating the cabinet related to a port development project.

Ling Liong Sik, a former Transport Minister, was charged with misleading the cabinet into approving a land purchase by not revealing an additional interest rate of 7.5 percent annually in the 1.088 billion ringgit ($319.5 million) land purchase for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project in the country's busiest port in 2002.

The increase forced the government to pay an extra 720 million ringgit ($230 million) and the total cost has ballooned in the following years.

A Kuala Lumpur High Court judge ruled that the defence has raised reasonable doubt on the prosecution's case over the charges.

The judge said Ling could not be held accountable for mistakes, omissions, concealment, misleading information or inaccuracies presented in two Transport Ministry's summaries and notes over the land since Ling was not in charge of his ministry at the time.

Several former senior government officials testified in the case as well as the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who reportedly said Ling could not have lied to the cabinet.

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