(AP) A former Malaysian transport minister has been acquitted of cheating the government in a billion-dollar port deal that sparked a financial scandal.
The High Court said Friday that prosecutors had not proven their case against Ling Liong Sik, who was transport minister between 1986 and 2003.
Ling was charged with misleading the Cabinet in 2002 in a land deal for the Port Klang free trade zone, an industrial and trading center that suffered massive cost overruns.
The project was estimated to cost less than 2 billion ($634 million) ringgit but ballooned to 4.6 billion ringgit ($1.5 billion) in 2007.
The scandal erupted when the government rescued the country's main port authority from debts involving the project.
Opposition lawmakers said the ruling was a setback for the government's battle against corruption.