MORE PICS- Day 12 RCI - ACA Sloppy Investigations of Telephone Nos of Key Persons; Rejects 3rd Video Clip (not verified Authentic); Shafee not wanted
MORE PICS - Day 12 RCI - ACA Sloppy Investigations of Telephone Nos of Key Persons; Rejects 3rd Video Clip (not verified Authentic); Shafee not required to Testify; RCI extended to Monday – last witness Thirunama Karasu
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Now why is the RCI so annoyed to mention "unseen hands" suggested in Anwar's statement and published recently? Feeling a bit guilty perhaps on the receiving ends. It looks like the RCI is in a bit of rush to wrap up its job and go into recess to deliberate on its findings and recommendations. It was suppose to finish the job last Friday and now postponed to Monday Feb 4 for the last witness - Lingam's brother to testify. It must be the imminent GE. They would not want this RCI to overlap into the Election campaign period and be a burning issue as the “unseen hands” are also deciding when to call the GE.
And why would former CJ Eusoff Chin so keen to include this 3rd Clip as evidence? He will have a good laugh to see that his “enemy” Dzaiddin) receiving the most expensive gift and not so much on his NZ trip with Lingam
Commission rejects 3rd video clip; ACA officer put in tight spot; Shafee Abdullah offered as witness
R. Surenthira Kumar and Llew-Ann Phang; theSUN team
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30, 2008): The Royal Commission of Inquiry on the controversial video clip today ruled that it was not accepting the third video clip recently released by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as it could not "accept everything that was being thrown at us".
Chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor and commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar both said that as such, they would not accept the transcript of the third video clip earlier tendered by lawyer William Leong (ABOVE) who is acting for Datuk V.K Lingam's younger brother V. Rajendram and for two other unnamed witnesses. "This is not within our mandate. We are not obliged to consider materials which are not relevant to the inquiry," Mahadev said, on the 12th day of the commission's proceedings.
Former chief justice Tun Mohamed Eusoff Chin’s counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad (ABOVE) had asked for the transcript of the third video clip to be tendered as evidence (see BELOW, Bernama report, cannot view also) as it had referred to the New Zealand trip which the Commission had allowed questions on to establish closeness between Lingam and Mohamed Eusoff. The Commission had also expressed dissatisfaction on two online articles – one by Aliran and the other Anwar’s press statement sourced from Malaysiakini which implied that it was being "manipulated by an unseen hand". The articles referred to Monday (Jan 28)’s proceedings when the Commission ruled it did not see the necessity for Anwar, his aide Sim Tze Tzin and Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah at this point in proceedings.
Mahadev, who read the ruling, said the Commission had found that the evidence that Anwar, Sim and Sivarasa intended to adduce - which ran to four to five pages long - was "too skimpy" for a proper ruling on whether they should be allowed to testify. He said the Commission should be furnished with more detailed evidence and advised counsels for Aliran and Anwar to speak to their clients and make amends on the matter. Anwar, Sim and Sivarasa’s lawyer M. Puravelan argued that he provided a synopsis of their evidence and the adjective used had implied incompetence on his part. Mahadev said the synopsis were inadequate for a ruling and added: "The only hands I have are the ones God gave me and it is with these and other such talents given by the Divine, that we are supposed to do our work."
Puravelan also told the commissioners that it was beyond the control of Anwar when he had only received the video clip – the third one – over the weekend, and added that his client was more than willing to testify on the matter. The video-clip that the commission focussed its investigation on was delivered by Anwar in two parts - the first on Sept 19 and the second on Nov 8, after the government had announced the setting up of the commission. The third clip released on Jan 28 showed a senior lawyer saying he had given an "expensive gift" to a former top judge.
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ACA officer put in tight spot
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30, 2008): Anti-Corruption Agency senior investigation officer Chuah Lay Choo was put in a tight spot on the 12th day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s proceedings when lawyers cross-examined her on how thorough her investigation was. Among others, Chuah admitted on questioning that she had not checked the telephone numbers for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Tan Sri Vincent Tan for the period of 2001 and 2002. She said she had only concentrated on whether there was corruption, misuse of position or use of influence in the appointment of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as the Court of Appeal president and later chief justice, and failed to look into other aspects of the video clip content, and she had not used a lie-detector test when taking evidence from Datuk V.K. Lingam. On being grilled by Bar Council representative Ranjit Singh, Chuah admitted she now thought it was inappropriate for a lawyer to be brokering positions for judges and that it was relevant to her investigation. "But I interviewed the witness directly whether he had the conversation or not," she said. She also admitted she had not looked into the numbers of those close to Ahmad Fairuz, namely his family members, in the course of investigation.
"In your (experience in investigations) they may not admit to what they do. I would assume you would have gone one step further and looked at all the evidence to verify if it is true or not. Did you do that?" asked Ranjit. Chuah replied in the negative, and disagreed to a suggestion that neither she nor the ACA conducted a complete investigation to verify the truth of the content of the video clip.
She also agreed that in 2001, there was no registration process for prepaid number users and that the list she tendered as evidence to the Commission yesterday had not included any of Lingam’s handphone numbers. Therefore, she admitted, that she could not confirm conclusively if Lingam called Tun Ahmad Fairuz or vice-versa.
Chuah also admitted she did not verify a
Earlier, questioned by Loh Mui Fah’s lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu, Chuah said Lingam had identified Loh as the person in the clip. "When Lingam (ABOVE) identified the person as Loh, did he identify himself as the one in the video clip?" asked Americk. "He only said it looked like him and sounded like him," she said.
Commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar then quipped in his trademark wit: "Lingam identified Loh Mui Fah but he could not identify himself."
Prompted by a question by Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor, Chuah said she traced Loh (ABOVE, Left with lawyer) in Malacca after Lingam volunteered his particulars.Haidar and lawyer Wee Choo Keong also had the courtroom in laughter when Haidar’s handphone rang when Wee was questioning Chuah.
Haidar apologised twice for the disruption, and laughed good-naturedly along with the courtroom when Wee (ABOVE, left) said: "Luckily it was not mine."
During questioning by another Bar representative Christopher Leong, Chuah said she had not looked into investigations done by her agency in 1998 which was relevant to the designated evidence submitted by Thirunama Karasu.
"I was aware there was an investigation but I was not aware of the details," she said. She said she did not investigate or question the parties or witnesses mentioned in Thirunama’s statement on matters like Lingam visiting Tun Mohamed Eusoff Chin’s house late at night with some files, or the allegation that Lingam bought Mohamed Eusoff a house.
"My investigations were only on the appointment of Tun Ahmad Fairuz," she added.
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Lingam revealed who were in his house
"He told us that businessman Loh Mui Fah was at his house and I instructed my officers to locate him," she said. The clip, believed to be that of Lingam, was made public on Sept 19. At that juncture, the identity of the person who made the secret recording was not known to the authorities. On Jan 12, two days before the commission began its inquiry, Mui Fah made public that his son, Gwo Burne, had taken the clip between and on
Chuah told counsel Americk Singh, who is appearing for Mui Fah, that the investigation into the clip started at the end of September and Lingam was called in to assist in the investigations.
Americk: Did you instruct your officers to locate Mui Fah?
Chuah: Yes. Three ACA officers were sent to locate him.
Americk: Why did you pick Mui Fah out of the 26 million Malaysians?
Chuah: Because he was the person who is said to have appeared in the clip.
Americk: Who pointed that out?
Chuah seemed hesitant then but Haidar told her not to hide anything.
"Just tell the truth," he said.
Chuah then said it was Lingam who gave them the information. She said Lingam also told her that the man in the clip "appears and sounds like me" after viewing the clip.
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Shafee Abdullah offered as witness
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30, 2008): The Royal Commission of Inquiry's plan to wind up its proceedings today was scuttled when the Malaysian Bar offered to produce lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah - the source of the photographs of former chief justice Tun Mohamed Eusoff Chin and Datuk V.K. Lingam holidaying together in New Zealand - as a potential witness. Due to this development, the commission, which only convened after lunch today, adjourned to Monday to hear V.K. Thirunama Karasu, Datuk V.K Lingam's brother, as the final witness. Bar representative Christopher Leong told the commission they have the negatives for the
"Let us decide on it," said Mahadev.
He questioned the necessity to produce Muhammad Shafee as a witness at this stage. Leong said Muhammad Shafee had information on the photographs and he could shed more light on the matter.
Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor said since this inquiry is not a trial, it was not necessary to tender the negatives.
"We don't need the negatives to be produced."
Mahadev said the commission had to accord the same treatment to everyone in the selection of potential witnesses. "We do not want a free-for-all. We have to know in advance what Mohd Shafee is going to say," said Mahadev.
Mohd Shafee was present during this time, but the Commission did not give him an opportunity to speak.
Haidar then told Leong to inform Mohd Shafee to submit a written statement so the commission could decide whether the lawyer should be called. By then, Thirunama Karasu (ABOVE) had taken his seat in the witness box. It was about then. Haidar said he has "limited energy" and after hearing from the lawyers on their availability, adjourned the inquiry to Monday (Feb 4), subject to confirmation.
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Commission Rejects Application To View Third Video Clip
He said it was pertinent to include the tape because the commission had allowed evidence on that trip to show the close relationship between Eusoff and Lingam, adding that the trip was not highlighted in the previous two video clips. Hazman said the copy of the third video clip was handed over to the commission's secretary Datuk Abdullah Sani by counsel William Leong. In response to the application, commission member Datuk Mahadev Shankar said the new video clip was not within the commission's mandate and it would not consider other materials not under the inquiry.
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