Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 11 – RCI - Vincent Tan: No influence on Dr M; Lazra: Lingam Lies; Dzaiddin: Dislike Eusoff, No Camps, Clip Surprise Secrets; Fairuz ‘s Inaction

Day 11 - RCI; Vincent Tan No influence on Judicial Appointments?; Lazra: Lingam a Bloody Liar in Accusation; Dzaiddin & Eusoff agreed - No Diferent Camps in Judiciary; Ahmad Fairus Inaction & No Lingam Show Cause; ACA: No calls between Lingam & Ahmad Fairuz
= == = == == =

= == == = == == of course no calls detected as the WRONG numbers were used! from Bernama,"Chuah said that based on the investigation, no calls were made from Lingam's fixed line to Ahmad Fairuz. However, she could not get the number of Lingam's mobile phone." From the clip it is clearly seen Lingam was using a mobile talking, and we have this ACA lady investigating "fixed lines calls".

Wednesday January 30, 2008
ACA: No calls between former CJ and Lingam
KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Corruption Agency did not find any telephone calls made between Datuk V.K. Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim on the night the controversial video was recorded. Senior Supt Chuah Lay Choo told the Royal Commission of Inquiry that after going through the records of their known phone numbers, she could not find any calls between them. The witness said she got hold of the records for four fixed-line numbers belonging to Lingam, including two in his house in Kelana Jaya.

She said she believed the other two numbers were of a rented house but admitted she had not investigated that. As for Ahmad Fairuz, Chuah said she got hold of the former Chief Justice's records for a 013 number, his home and office number as well as that of his personal assistant and special officer. She said none of the phone calls made from these numbers on Dec 20, 2001 exceeded eight minutes (the approximate time of the phone conversation in the video clip), with the exception of one from Lingam's house to Singapore. Chuah said two of Lingam's mobile phone numbers – both 016 numbers – were registered in 2001 while another 016 postpaid number, which he had then, was terminated on Nov 20, 2001.

= == == = == = == and More bitterness from Dzaiddin, deails from STAR

Wednesday January 30, 2008
Eusoff lacked leadership, says Dzaiddin;;;By CHELSEA L.Y. NG,
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah hit out at his former boss Tun Eusoff Chin, saying that he lacked direction and leadership when he was top judge. He said that when he served under Eusoff as Federal Court judge in the 1990s, the latter also kept lying to him. There was a lack of direction in the way we performed our work, settled cases and fixed cases (for hearing),” he told the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Asked if he hated Eusoff, Dzaiddin said: “I don’t hate Eusoff Chin but I dislike him.” He said he had such ill feelings for Eusoff because the latter kept lying. His remarks drew applause from those in the public gallery. “He kept talking about the conferment of Tan Sri-ship for me when I was a Federal Court judge. He said he had proposed my name but it was something beyond his power. It was not true.

“I’d been a Federal Court judge since 1993 and only in 2000, I was made a Tan Sri,” said the 70-year-old Dzaiddin, who is now a legal consultant. He also said that he was marginalised during Eusoff’s reign as top judge but denied that there were two camps within the judiciary.
He also dismissed suggestions that he was attacking Lingam’s cases. “I cannot fathom what he is talking about (in the video clip). I never attacked his cases or those handled by his firm.

“As the then Chief Justice, I did fix the quorum for appeals but I’ve never sat on those panels involving cases handled by Lingam,” he said. He said he had proposed that the late Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad be made the Chief Judge of Malaya (CJM) before Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim but the proposal was rejected by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I am very sure I recommended Tan Sri Malek first because he was then the most senior Federal Court judge, compatible and most importantly, a judge of integrity,” he said. He said Dr Mahathir did not agree with his recommendation of Abdul Malek and had instead asked that the late Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah or Ahmad Fairuz be made CJM.

“I recommended Ahmad Fairuz ahead of Mohtar and I gave my reasons in my letter to the Prime Minister,” he said. Asked if the act of lobbying for the position of the President of the Court of Appeal amounted to “tarnishing the good name of the judiciary”, Dzaiddin said that it was, adding that such misconduct ran foul of the judges’ Code of Ethics 1994.

On the Tan Sri title conferred to Ahmad Fairuz just one year after the latter was made the CJM, Dzaiddin said Ahmad Fairuz admitted to him that it was based on the recommendation of then Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“I was surprised because it was improper. It should be recommended by the head of department, in this case, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court,” said Dzaiddin. He also said he condemned judges who went out with lawyers, especially when the lawyers had cases before the judges.

= == = == = =
No 1 Man in the country for so long only discussed “projects” and had no influence on Dr M on any other matters? Precisely being close, he was used as conduit to “arrange & fix” many things. And his denial of knowledge of the contents in the Video clip is similar to all the key players in the video.

It was reported their friendship started in the 80’s with the franchise of the McDonald’s fast food business, a field in which Dr Mahathir (ABOVE, circa 80's) was interested. And this friendship lead to the privatization of the Sports Toto in 1985 (more details H E R E ) when its Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Tan through his private company acquired 70% of the paid-up capital. Today Sports Toto is the Cash Cow of Berjaya group. It was one of the first privatizations under Mahathir and he justified it by saying that “the idea came from a private sector group and it would have been unfair if their unique proposal had been accepted by the government and then awarded to someone else.”

Such is the friendship, confidence and influence that Vincent has on Mahathir.

= == = Day 11 - RCI
Dzaiddin's revelations
Ahmad Fairuz quizzed over inaction

Vincent dismisses video clip claims as 'real joke'
R. Surenthira Kumar and Llew-Ann Phang, theSUN team

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29, 2008): Former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah today revealed that his successor to the post Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim was bestowed his Tan Sri title on the recommendation of then deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. He said he learnt about this only on the eve of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s birthday when Ahmad Fairuz, who was then Court of Appeal president, approached him and apologised before stating that Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, now tourism minister, had recommended him for the title. "I was surprised, because it was improper, as the Chief Justice would normally make the recommendations as the head of the judiciary," he said.

The ever-smiling Mohamed Dzaiddin, 70, said this when replying to a question from inquiry officer DPP Nordin Hassan on whether he was the one who recommended the Tan Sri title for Ahmad Fairuz, at the hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on a controversial video-clip. He said he was not. He was the 16th witness to appear in the inquiry, and the third former chief justice to testify after Tun Mohamed Eusoff Chin (his predecessor) and Ahmad Fairuz. When lawyer Wee Choo Keong asked Mohamed Dzaiddin if he had recommended commission member Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong for the Tan Sri title when he was the chief justice, he said he could not remember.

Nordin referred Mohamed Dzaiddin to the transcript which touched on the relationship between him and Mohamed Eusoff.(BELOW)

Nordin: Is it true you hated Mohamed Eusoff Chin?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: No, I only dislike him.

Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar (ABOVE) Mohd Noor: Any reason?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: He keeps not telling the truth, especially on the conferment of Tan Sri title on me. I became Federal Court judge much earlier …
However, Haidar stopped him from continuing and told Nordin to continue with his questions.
Nordin: Can you tell us on the part (of the transcript) which states … Dzaiddin is attacking our cases?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: I have no fathom, what he (speaker in the clip) means. I never attacked Lingam’s cases.

Mohamed Dzaiddin said he was of the opinion that there were no camps in the judiciary when he held the top position but admitted to feeling marginalised by his predecessor Eusoff Chin
To Malaysian Bar representative Razlan Hadri's question whether he thought there were factions in the judiciary, he replied: "I don’t think so. I was in control of the judiciary at that time."
"How about before?" Razlan asked, to which he replied that the judges did their own work and he did not bother if there were camps or not.
Referring Mohamed Dzaiddin to a news report in December 2000 – a month before he took over – Razlan read out a quote in which Mohamed Dzaiddin had said there was a split in the judiciary.
"You said ‘I think people thought like that because of the leadership problem’," Razlan said, also referring to a line from the article describing an inner circle which Mohamed Dzaiddin implied he was not part of.

Mohamed Dzaiddin also said the split he meant in the article was referred to a lack of direction in the way the judges worked, heard cases and fixed cases; and when asked by whom, he replied: "Of course, by my boss then."


Mohamed Dzaiddin said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejected twice the candidacy of the late Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Abdul Malek for the posts of the Chief Judge of Malaya and Court of Appeal president in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
He said the former PM did not give any reason for the rejection, despite his appealing to Mahathir to reconsider Abdul Malek for the Chief Judge of
Malaya post after the seat fell vacant following Ahmad Fairuz’s elevation to Court of Appeal president. He also affirmed that Mahathir rejected the names of two men, Dr Andrew Chew and Zainuddin Ismail, whom he had recommended to be appointed as High Court judges.
He said no reasons were stated for the rejection. He said he did not ask Mahathir the reasons for the rejection, but that he was "surprised".
Nordin: Is this the first time your recommendations were rejected by the prime minister?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: No, this was the second time.
Nordin: Were you informed by any other party/ies, Zainuddin’s candidacy was rejected because he had questioned the appointment of former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah and Ahmad Fairuz.

Mohamed Dzaiddin: No, I did not. That’s the reason I appealed.
Nordin asked if Mohamed Dzaiddin was aware that his name had been mentioned in the transcript, the former chief justice agreed and said it complimented him. He was also asked if he had any knowledge Mahathir had consulted businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan or Tengku Adnan over the appointments. He replied he had no knowledge of it and that it was beyond his control.

Earlier, Mohamed Dzaiddin said he was surprised details of the correspondences between him and Mahathir, on the appointment of judges had appeared in the video clip under probe. He said the transcript of the video clip revealed confidential information, on names of candidates proposed for the senior posts in the judiciary, were mentioned in it. Answering questions posed by his lawyer, Wong Chong Wah, he said the information was shared with only a limited number of people.

Wong: Besides the then chief judge of Malaya Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, the chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Chong Siew Fai, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and chief secretary to the government, did you consult anyone else regarding the matter?

Mohamed Dzaiddin: No.
Wong: Did it come as a surprise to you, the video clip contained the details?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: Yes.
Wong: Were you surprised to hear on that clip on what you mentioned in the letters?
Mohamed Dzaiddin: Very surprised, at how the information leaked out.

Ahmad Fairuz quizzed over inaction

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29, 2008): Former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz faced a barrage of questions from the Malaysian Bar today over his inaction on the alleged video clip, "which suggested judicial impropriety" in the alleged brokering of the appointment of judges. Bar representative Yeo Yang Poh said it had been more than four months since the video clip appeared, and asked whether Ahmad Fairuz had issued any direct public statement on the allegations contained in the clip.
Ahmad Fairuz: I haven’t because one can only guess and deduce who is on the other end of the line (telephone).
Yeo: You were in a unique position, but can you tell us why you did you not make a direct denial of the allegations?
Ahmad Fairuz: Because it was already the subject of an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and as such, being the head of the judiciary it is acceptable to remain silent. I did not want to make any statement on the matter as I did not want to jeopardise the investigations.

Yeo: Did you take steps to clear the air?
Ahmad Fairuz: I see no necessity.
Yeo then asked why Ahmad Fairuz then decided to explain the issue by writing letters to the prime minister, deputy prime minister and minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz and not the public.
Ahmad Fairuz said he had informed the executive about the matter on a need-to-know basis.
Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor then asked Yeo what more he expected the former chief justice to say as he had already explained that he kept mum because the ACA investigations were ongoing.
Ahmad Fairuz’s lawyer, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, also objected to Yeo’s line of questioning.

Yeo pressed on and asked if Ahmad Fairuz was contacted by the on-line publication malaysiakini for a comment regarding the video clip.
Ahmad Fairuz said he could not remember but Yeo said his special officer had responded to the query by stating Ahmad Fairuz had refused to comment.
Commission member Datuk Mahadev Shankar asked Ahmad Fairuz if by need-to-know basis he meant that the public was not entitled to be told of the judiciary’s stand on the allegations.
Ahmad Fairuz said what he meant was that the executive branch of the legislature was entitled to be told about the matter as he thought the executive would be in a position to state the judiciary’s stand in case the issue was raised in parliament.
"So, I thought the only people who needed to know about it are the three persons I mentioned," said Ahmad Fairuz.
He also told the Commission he wrote to Mohd Nazri, and not call him as suggested by Yeo, on
Sept 22, 2007, to inform the minister that he was not the person alleged in the clip.
Ahmad Fairuz agreed the ACA interviewed him on the matter and he gave them his phone details.
Haidar stopped Yeo on several occasions when he continued questioning Ahmad Fairuz on his failure to act on the allegations, saying evidence to show that it was Ahmad Fairuz had not been adduced.
Mahadev Shankar then asked Ahmad Fairuz whether the head of the judiciary should act immediately when it is falsely accused.
He added it was a basic measure to be taken in such instances.
His reply: "First and foremost, what was in my mind was an investigation which was ongoing and whether the contents in the tape had been fabricated was yet to be ascertained. It was difficult for me to act at the time, as I could be summoned for contempt."
Asked about the conferment of Tan Sri title on him, Ahmad Fairuz said he did not know who recommended him but that he was informed about the matter on the eve of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s birthday.

= = = == == = == = == == = == = = == =
Vincent dismisses video clip claims as 'real joke'

ABOVE: Vincent Tan so powerful & close to the No 1 man and No Influence? Dont; Believe him?

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29, 2008): Businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan said it is "a real joke" for Datuk V.K Lingam to assume that he (Tan) could influence the Prime Minister in the elevation and appointment of judges.The 16th witness in the Royal Commission proceedings on the controversial video-clip, Tan, 55, said with a chuckle: "All this is not true and it is ridiculous. He thinks I’m so stupid he can use me?
He was questioned by inquiry officer DPP Datuk Azmi Ariffin on the transcript of the 14-minute tape which was shown to him and also about his relationship with former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, politician Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.
"It is not true at all. I don’t know why he said all this but I supposed he was throwing my name (and showing off since I was friendly with the Prime Minister).
"The prime minister called me to talk about projects. This is ridiculous. The statement is not true at all," he said when asked about holding discussions with Tengku Adnan and Mahathir on the judiciary.
On whether he had recommended the conferment of the Tan Sri title on Ahmad Fairuz, Tan replied: "Not true at all. I wish I’m so powerful."
Tan denied that Lingam had asked him to approach Mahathir in Ahmad Fairuz’s appointment as Court of Appeal president, that he was approached by Tengku Adnan to speak to Mahathir, and that he held discussions with Mahathir on the judiciary.
Tan also poked fun at lawyer Wee Choo Keong who represents Lingam’s younger brother Thirunama Karasu when Wee questioned Tan on his relationship to Lingam.
"I am not extremely close (to him). I’m only extremely close to the woman I love. By the way, I do not love men," Tan quipped, to the court’s amusement.
"I am friendly with him, he’s a lawyer. If do a lot of work, if you are a good lawyer, you’re a capable lawyer, do research and win cases, we’ll pay you well," Tan said.
Wee then asked if Tan would recruit him as a director in the company, to which Tan said: "If your service is good, but not with your reputation."
Earlier, Tan told proceedings that he met Mahathir in the early 1980s when Tan first started the McDonald’s franchising and Mahathir had called him in to discuss about franchising.
"I became friendly with him. I find him to be an excellent man, a good man, visionary, very helpful," he said, adding that Mahathir had guided him along the way. He said he was pleased that Mahathir had in his testimony referred to him as a friend.
On Tengku Adnan – "a business associate" – Tan said he met Tengku Adnan in the early 1980s or 1990s when he was introduced by a member of the Pahang royal family. He described him as a "very pleasant person, very likeable."
Anti-Corruption Agency senior investigating officer Chuah Lay Choo, was also re-called to the witness stand.
She submitted telephone records on the telephone numbers for Lingam and Ahmad Fairuz which showed there were no calls made between both parties on the night of
Dec 20, 2001, the day the video clip was shot.
07:49PM Tue, 29 Jan 2008

= = == == = == ==January 29, 2008 18:01 PM
Dr Mahathir Is My Friend, Says Vincent Tan

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Prominent businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan today described former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a friend. Tan, 55, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry that Dr Mahathir was an excellent, good and helpful man who had given him a lot of guidance in business.
Questioned by conducting officer Datuk Azmi Ariffin on how he got to know Dr Mahathir, he said it started when he was involved in the McDonald's fast food franchise business, a field in which Dr Mahathir was interested. "I met Dr Mahathir in the early 80's when I was involved in the franchise business. Dr Mahathir was also interested in it. From there, we became friends," he said.

Asked whether he regarded Dr Mahathir as a close family friend, Tan, the inquiry's 17th witness, said Dr Mahathir was the prime minister for a long time and he would not want to go around telling people that he was close to Dr Mahathir. "I'm pleased when Dr Mahathir (during his testimony in the inquiry) regarded me as his close friend," he added. The inquiry is to ascertain, among others, the authenticity of a video clip purportedly of lawyer V. K. Lingam brokering judicial appointments with a senior judge over the phone.
= == = == = == = ==

Tycoon Vincent Tan denies influencing Dr M in Judicial Appointments

Vincent Tan says that it was a “real joke” to suggest that Mahathir consulted him on the appointment of judges as indicated in a video clip which featured lawyer VK Lingam.


Malaysian Bar representative Robert Lazar today refuted Datuk V.K.Lingam’s claim that he had sought Lingam’s assistance to be appointed a Court of Appeal judge, describing it as an outrageous lie. Lazar 51, who is attached to Shearn Delamore & Co, said the allegation made by Lingam had absolutely no basis and was not true.
“I was told that the incident took place in 2000. At that time I was 43 years old and I had 23 years of legal experience. I had no reason to abandon my legal career in order to be Court of Appeal judge. The occasion never arose at all,” he said. Lazar was allowed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip to take the witness stand to rebut Lingam’s allegation.

Lingam (ABOVE on Day 10) told the inquiry yesterday that Lazar approached him in early 2000 to seek assistance to meet the then prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to help him become an appellate judge. Asked by Malaysian Bar representative Yeo Yang Poh whether he and Lingam had a drink together after a court case, Lazar said he never had a drink with Lingam after a court case or in any other place.

Asked why Lingam had made such an allegation against him, Lazar said Lingam was out to discredit and embarrass him. Lazar said the allegation was also an attempt to disqualify him from continuing to represent the Malaysian Bar. “I won’t succumb to that. The allegation was also to distract me,” he added.
To a suggestion from Lingam’s counsel, R.Thayalan, that after a court case, he had a drink with Lingam at Sembang Restaurant at the
Kuala Lumpur High Court where he sought Lingam’s help to get him appointed as an appellate judge, Lazar said he never had a drink with Lingam. Lazar also stressed that he did not at any time have a conversation with Lingam on the matter.
= == = == == =
January 29, 2008 15:29 PM
I Didn't Ask Lingam To Show Cause, Says Ahmad Fairuz

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim said he did not summon lawyer Datuk V.K.Lingam to show cause on why he should not be cited for contempt for allegedly making untrue remarks and scandalising the judiciary. Ahmad Fairuz, however, concurred with the Malaysian Bar's lawyer Yeo Yang Poh that there could be a prima facie cause for contempt of court on Lingam as he had put the judiciary's reputation in very bad light. Lingam was featured in a video clip allegedly brokering judicial appointments.

However, Ahmad Fairuz, who retired in Nov 1 last year, said it was difficult for him to summon Lingam since the subject matter was under investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA). "At that time, I didn't know the outcome of the investigations and the contents of the video clip was not proven whether it was authentic or fabricated. Also, I could not confirm positively who was the speaker in the video clip," said Ahmad Fairuz, 66, who was continuing his testimony in the royal commission of inquiry into the Lingam video clip from Monday. The five-member inquiry, headed by retired Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, into the controversial video clip entered the 11th day today, among others, to determine the authenticity of the clip.

Ahmad Fairuz was referred to a portion of the transcript of the video clip where the speaker told the person sitting on a sofa that he (the speaker) was speaking to him (Ahmad Fairuz), who was then the Chief Judge of Malaya (CJM), on the telephone. Asked by Yeo on whether he was upset when he heard the remarks in the video clip, which was shown to him yesterday, Ahmad Fairuz, the 14th witness, said: " Off course, I am".
Referring to another portion in the transcript..."You suffered so much, so much you have done. you know, for the election petition, Wee Choo Keong, everything. How much, nobody would have done all these.
Yeo asked Ahmad Fairuz whether the remarks showed the speaker in the video clip was speaking to you, Ahmad Fairuz said: "The inference is there". Yesterday, Ahmad Fairuz said he was the election court judge presiding the election petition for the Bukit Bintang parliamentary seat involving lawyer Wee Choo Keong.Ahmad Fairuz also denied allegations in the video clip that there were different camps in the judiciary.
To a question by counsel Khoo Guan Huat representing former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah on whether he (Ahmad Fairuz) might have told Dzaiddin on the eve of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday in 2002 that Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had recommended that he (Ahmad Fairuz) be conferred the "Tan Sri" title.
Ahmad Fairuz said: "I don't remember. I only remember informing Dzaiddin that I have been conferred the "Tan Sriship".
Ahmad Fairuz also testified that he did not respond publicly to the allegations after the release of the video clip as he did not want to jeopardise ACA investigations."I did not take steps to reply to the allegations in public as the matter was already a subject of investigation," he said when questioned by Yeo on why he sent three letters to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to explain his views and his stand on the video clip after reading the article and transcript of the video clip.

Ahmad Fairuz testified yesterday that he decided to send the letters to the three personalities because they were the representatives from the Executive branch and since he was the head of the judiciary, he was of the view that it was necessary for him to inform the Executive about the allegations of him and also his stand in denying the allegations. Ahmad Fairuz said he wrote the letters to the three personalities to enable them to answer questions in Parliament if the issue was raised. "There were investigations going on. So, I feel I should not make any comment," Ahmad Fairuz added.

= = == =January 29, 2008 00:32 AM

Eusoff Denies "Different Camps" In The Judiciary

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 (Bernama) -- Former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin denied that he and Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah were not in good terms. Saying that Dzaiddin was cordial with him, he also denied there were "different camps" in the judiciary, during his (Eusoff) term as chief justice. Eusoff, 73, said this when being recalled to the witness stand today, in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the video clip allegedly showing lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam brokering on judicial appointments with a top judge. He was replying to a question by Malaysian Bar representative Ranjit Singh, relating to an allegation contained in the transcript of the conversation of the speaker in the video clip, implying that Eusoff was not in good terms with Mohamed Dzaiddin who succeded him (Eusoff) as chief justice after Eusoff retired in 2000.

The paragraph in the transcript which was referred to Eusoff was, "You know that the same problem Tun Eusoff Chin had... he tried to do all this and... and yet he had run out of soldiers. He couldn't do it because many were on the other camp..."
Eusoff replied: "I don't understand what he is talking about". Laughs and adds: "No such thing. In fact, I don't know what he (the speaker in the video clip) was talking about." He was recalled to give evidence after the commission put on hold his testimonies (on Jan 18) to allow him to engage counsel. Eusoff is currently represented by counsel Zamani Ibrahim and Datuk Hazman Ahmad.

Referring to another paragraph of the transcript, "One day, I went to Vincent Tan's house, I fired with... him at night in the house. I said, bloody hell, if you don't do this, who will do it? All these people, Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, Tan Sri Zainon, all fought for us." Eusoff said the paragraph did not make sense to him, adding that only Lingam knew the answer. To another question on whether former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (the person purportedly on the other end of the telephone) was loyal to him, Eusoff replied:

"Not only to me, but (to) everybody as they had taken oath of office." He refuted claims that he received a handphone, a lady's handbag and a wallet from Lingam, around 1996, saying that the allegations in the transcript of the conversation was concocted and a big lie. On an allegation by Lingam's younger brother that he (Lingam) gave a house in Kampung Tunku to Eusoff in Oct 1995, but that Eusoff and his wife were unhappy with the house as they wanted a bigger land to build a house of their own choice, Eusoff said: "There was no necessity for me to have another house as my wife bought the current house we are staying in, in 1995 through government loan." Referring to another paragraph of the transcript which implied that thespeaker on the telephone was close to him, Eusoff denied that Lingam visited him during the day or at night.
He reiterated that he did not have any contact with Lingam. To a question by Ranjit on why he thought the speaker said in his telephone conversation that he could go to him (Eusoff), Eusoff said: "Anybody could approach me. The door was open to even his staff to be able to see me. I would not disappoint them."

He agreed with Ranjit that Lingam could walk into his office room, if he wanted to but added that he (Lingam) never did. Eusoff said he was not involved in any manner, with regard to the appointment of judges since his retirement, as there was another chief justice being appointed to handle that matter.


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