Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MORE PICS – DAY 3 RCI – No Trace of Lingams' Prepaid Numbers; Lingam to Confirm Clip Images; ACA Officer No recall; Samsuddin: No Influence by anyone

UPDATE:DAY 4= = = from AP Jan 17, 2008

Mahathir denies he was used by outsiders to appoint top judges

KUALA LUMPUR - FORMER leader Mahathir Mohamad denied on Thursday he was manipulated by outsiders into appointing top judges in a scandal that has cast doubts about the independence of Malaysia's judiciary. Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's longest serving prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was testifying before a government inquiry into a secretly recorded video clip that showed a man believed to be a prominent lawyer, V.K. Lingam, boasting that he could get key judicial appointments made with Mr Mahathir's help. Lawyers and opposition groups have said that the clip was evidence of deep flaws in the secretive process of appointing judges. The clip was made in December 2001 but leaked in September 2007 by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has refused to say how he obtained it. Mr Mahathir, 84, who appeared composed during his 90-minute testimony, said he didn't even know Mr Lingam personally until recently when he hired the lawyer to fight a defamation case against Mr Anwar. He also disputed claims by the man in the video who is heard saying that he, business tycoon Vincent Tan and then deputy minister Tengku Adnan Mansor had contacted Mr Mahathir regarding judicial appointments.
Answer: No

'No,' Mr Mahathir, dressed in a gray suit and blue tie, said repeatedly when asked if the three men had a hand in the appointments. In the clip, the man who looks like Mr Lingam is seen and heard speaking on his mobile phone and identifying the person on the other end as Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, Malaysia's No. 3 judge in 2001. The man talks about how he allegedly helped Ahmad Fairuz get appointed and discusses plans to elevate him further with the help of Tan and Tengku Adnan. A number of other judges are also named during the conversation. In the Malaysian system, the country's chief judge recommends candidates for senior judicial appointments and promotions to the prime minister who can accept or reject those names.
Word of mouth

The prime minister then recommends the candidates for final approval by Malaysian state rulers, which is considered a formality. Mr Mahathir acknowledged, however, that he is a close friend of Mr Tan, who has been Mr Lingam's client in several high profile cases. 'I have had a relationship with him (Tan) for many years,' Mr Mahathir said. 'I know him very well .... we were I would say friends,' he said. Asked whether he might have sought or obtained advice from Mr Tan on judicial appointments, Mr Mahathir said: 'It could be. But he clarified that he receives opinions from many people including government officials, experts and members of the public regarding judicial appointments. -- AP

= == = == = ==from STAR; Thursday January 17, 2008; MYT 2:15:49 PM

Lingam video inquiry: Dr M on the stand (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V. K. Lingam videoclip controversy that he could not remember why he dropped two lawyers' names from the list for appointment as High Court judges in late 2001. He said that even though he didn't ask for feedback, people did give him their views on candidates for such posts during conversations and social functions. "I take note, but the final decision is mine," he said. In the phone conversation, the man in the videoclip is heard saying that Dr Andrew Chew and Zainudin Ismail had been rejected, the latter because he had criticised certain judicial appointments.

On Wednesday, former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman testified that the “man in the video” knew details of a letter sent by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to the then Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah regarding the nominations of High Court judges. These correspondences were official secrets that even ministers and deputy ministers had no access to, and he could not speculate as to how the man in the video had got this information.

Dr Mahathir also said that he got to know Datuk V.K. Lingam only recently when he appointed him as his lawyer after former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim filed a defamation suit. Anwar sued for RM100mil, saying that Dr Mahathir allegedly portrayed him as a man of no morals who was dangerous to Malaysian society. The suit was subsequently struck off. Dr Mahathir took to the stand Thursday morning as the ninth witness to be called by the Royal Commission, which has been charged with verifying the authenticity of the videoclip which shows a senior lawyer apparently "brokering" the appointments of judges. Dr Mahathir said he was willing to answer any question put to him by the Royal Commission, even if it was not relevant or beyond the scope of the Commission's terms of reference.

= = == == = ==January 17, 2008 13:57 PM

I Only Got To Know Lingam Recently, Says Dr Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad testified Thursday that only recently he came to know lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam who is implicated in a video clip showing him allegedly brokering appointment of judges. The former prime minister dismissed claims that prominent businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun had on several occasions brought Lingam to his house when he was the prime minister. "That is not true," said Dr Mahathir to a question by the Malaysian Bar representative Christopher Leong who referred to some passages of the conversation in the video clip to the former premier, implying that Lingam had occasionally went to his (Dr Mahathir's) house.

Leong: Do you know V.K. Lingam?

Dr Mahathir: I've heard about him in the newspapers involving several cases. I only got to know him recently when I engaged his services in a civil suit filed against me by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr Mahathir, however, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip, that Lingam has been to his house after he was no longer the prime minister and after the conversation in the video tape took place. "After I engaged Lingam (as counsel) to represent me in the civil suit, then only he (Lingam) has been to my house," he testified on the fourth day of the inquiry.

To Leong's question on whether Vincent Tan had introduced Lingam to him, Dr Mahathir replied that he would not be able to say precisely, but added that in order for him to contact Lingam, he probably spoke to Vincent. On why he chose Lingam to represent him in the legal suit, Dr Mahathir said he thought Lingam would be a good candidate. He admitted that Lingam was still his counsel.

Asked on whether he had seen the video clip, Dr Mahathir said: "I watched it on TV." Dr Mahathir was also questioned on his relationship with Vincent Tan. He admitted that they were friends. "Yes, I know him (Vincent Tan). I have relationship with him for many years. I know him very well," he said. The Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to ascertain, among others, the authenticity of a video clip featuring a lawyer allegedly brokering judicial appointments with a senior judge. The five-member panel comprises chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, who was former Cbief Judge of Malaya, former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Amar Steve Shim Lip Kiong, retired court of appeal judge Datuk Mahadev Shankar, former solicitor-general Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh and historian Prof Emeritus Dr Khoo Kay Khim.

= = == == = ==

-January 17, 2008 12:54 PM

I Was Not Influenced To Pick Ahmad Fairuz For CJ Post, Says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he was not influenced by anyone when he picked Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim to fill the three top posts in the judiciary. The 84-year-old former prime minister said it was his decision to opt for Ahmad Fairuz.

ABOVE: Dr Mahathir arriving at the Jalan Duta Court Complex at about 10.00 am and BELOW: being ushered in

"I listen to unofficial views during conversations or at social gatherings. I consider the views but the final decision is mine," he said when testifying in the royal commission of inquiry into the Lingam video clip. Dr Mahathir, who appeared calm and smiled at times, said the reasons for his decision are "something I don't tell people." "It is my prerogative. I don't have to explain why," Dr Mahathir said when fielding questions posed to him in the inquiry.

At the start of proceedings, Dr Mahathir's counsel Tengku Sofea Jewa (ABOVE, pic during her time with Tunku, she is a neice) told the inquiry her client wished to convey his assurance that he would give his fullest cooperation and response to the best of his ability to questions put to him. Responding to that, commission chaiman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor said it was his duty to conduct the inquiry and ensure the commissioners conduct the proceedings in a proper manner. Besides Tengku Sofea, Dr Mahathir is represented by Datuk Dr Yaakob Hussein Merican and Datuk N. Chandran. Earlier, Dr Mahathir, clad in a grey suit, entered the courtroom at 10.02am, accompanied by his three lawyers and several police officers. He bowed in respect to the inquiry panel members and smiled to the lawyers, journalists and the public in the gallery before taking his seat in the witness dock. Dr Mahathir's daughter, Marina, also attended the inquiry.

= = == = = = Original Post BELOW

MORE PICS – DAY 3 RCINo Trace of Lingams' Prepaid Numbers; Lingam to Confirm Clip Images; ACA Officer No recall of election petition or investigation of closeness between Eusoff Chin and Lingam & Explain also transcript discrepancies; Samsudin: Not Influenced By Anyone

ABOVE: The High Court Jalan Duta Complex where the R C I was held was a crowded place below with many (BELOW) hoping to get a glimpse of that old man testifying; The queue was long but "ladies first" the KBCs

= === = =DAY 3 Royal Commission Inquiry
January 16, 2008 16:11 PM
I Was Not Influenced By Anyone, Says Samsudin

ABOVE: The Chief Secretary (then in 2002) was not influenced by anyone as the "Chief Office Boy" he was NOT influential at all, just to get the papers in order. It was the old man who was pulling all the strings.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip Wednesday that the appointment of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim to top posts in the country's judiciary was in accordance with the Federal Constitution. Samsudin, 60, who is now Putrajaya Corporation president, said that he was not influenced by anyone in Tun Ahmad Fairuz's appointments as Chief Judge of Malaya and Court of Appeal President. Normally the Chief Justice would submit the list of names of the potential candidates, he said when questioned by conducting officer Datuk Nordin Hassan. Samsudin is the sixth witness on the third of the inquiry to ascertain the authencity of the video clip of a lawyer purported brokering judicial appointments with a senior judge. He said that as chief secretary to the government, he headed the secretariat which handled the appointments of high court judges, the chief judges of Malaya and Sabah and Sarawak, Court of Appeal President and the Chief Justice

ABOVE & BELOW: Others (lawyers or not) came also to catch a glimpse of History

= = == = January 16, 2008 15:51 PM

ACA Officer Ordered To Get Fairuz's Phone Record

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- A Royal Commission of Inquiry Wednesday ordered an Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officer to obtain phone records of former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim. Datuk Mahadev Shankar, who is a member of the commission, said ACA senior superintendent Chuah Lay Choo, 52, should obtain the phone records from the telecommunication provider as soon possible particularly on the calls made on Dec 20, 2001. Chuah, earlier, told the commission that from her investigation, Fairuz had been using a Celcom 013 number since 2000 but when asked to give the exact number, she said she could only remember 013393.

The commission, set up to investigate a video clip showing a man talking on a handphone about the appointment of judges, was told Tuesday that the video was recorded on Dec 20, 2001 and the man on the clip was lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam while the person on the other line was Fairuz, who was then the chief judge of Malaya. Chuah also said that she was unable to obtain the mobile phone number used by Lingam. She said Lingam told her he could not remember the number because he had been using a prepaid line most of the time.
= == = = == =
January 16, 2008 20:49 PM

Businessman's Son Offers To Assist In Inquiry

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Another witness has offered to come forward to assist the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the video clip purportedly showing Datuk V.K. Lingam brokering the appointments of judges over the phone. Counsel Alex De Silva made a sudden appearance before the five-member commission today to inform it that he was appointed to represent Loh Gwo Burne in the hearing.

Gwo Burne is the son of businessman Loh Mui Fah who revealed that the video clip was recorded by his son when they were in Lingam's house in 2001. Loh told the inquiry yesterday that Lingam told him that the person on the phone with him was former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim. De Silva said Gwo Burne, who lives overseas, had arrived in Malaysia. He said he had received instruction from his client to inform the commission that Gwo Burne was able and willing to testify in the inquiry. However, Gwo Burne could not attend the inquiry today because he was unwell, he added.

= == = == = == = =

Prepaid card used, no trace of Lingam's phone

R. Surenthira Kumar and S.Tamarai Chelvi; theSUN

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16, 2008): The Anti-Corruption Agency officer nvestigating the video-clip featuring a senior lawyer brokering judicial appointments told the Royal Commisision of Inquiry that she could not trace the handphone numbers used by lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam because he had used prepaid numbers. Senior superintendent Chuah Lay Choo said: "We tried to establish from the telcos (telecommunication companies) the phone numbers used by Lingam but there were no records of his number in the 2001 and 2002 records." Replying to questions posed by Bar Council representative Ranjit Singh on the third day of the inquiry in the Duta Court Complex today, Chuah also said she checked the transactions for the telephone line used by former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim during the period.

"However, due to the absence of Lingam’s number, I was not able to check whether the calls made by Ahmad Fairuz was to the lawyer," said Chuah. Answering a query from commission member Datuk Mahadev Shankar, she said she checked with Maxis, DiGi and Celcom for the detailed transactions of the handphone and house phone used by Ahmad Fairuz. Chuah said she has yet to obtain details of the transactions which took place in 2001 and 2002. Ranjit then asked if she had asked Lingam the prepaid numbers used by him, but was told by the lawyer that he had forgotten the numbers. On whether the same question was put forward to Ahmad Fairuz, Chuah said the former chief justice said he had been using a 013-based number since 2000 and the transaction details could not pinpoint whether calls had been made to Lingam because she had not been able to identify Lingam's prepaid number.

Questioned further on her request for the itemised billing for Lingam and Ahmad Fairuz, Chuah said there was a delay on the part of the telcos in handing over the details. Mahadev then instructed Chuah to get back to the telcos with an urgent request, adding that the commission would subpoena for it if the telcos did not cooperate. Ranjit also asked Chuah, based on her investigations into the clip recording and the transcript, if she was aware that there had been an election petition hearing which involved Ahmad Fairuz as a member of the panel which heard the case. Chuah denied knowledge of such a petition, and Ranjit immediately provided copies of the petition for the commission's attention. Mahadev Shankar then suggested it was best for Chuah and the commission to go through the copy tendered before a conclusion is made on the matter.

Lawyer Wee Choo Keong (ABOVE Left), who claims he represents K.V.Thirunama Karasu, the younger brother of Lingam, stood up to ask Chuah questions. Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor stalled Wee briefly and asked who he represented and that the questions will only be allowed if it was relevant. After an initial reluctance, Haidar then gave the green light to Wee, who asked Chuah if she was aware of a previous investigation initiated by the ACA over the alleged close relationship between a former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin and Lingam. Chuah said she was not aware of the investigations but knew about it as she had previously read in the newspapers. When Wee pressed on with his questions, Mahadev and another commissioner Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong stopped him and said Chuah had already stated that she was not aware.

Wee persisted: "Did it not occur to you that Thirunama Karasu had his statements recorded and was also detained by the ACA over the investigations into the alleged closeness between Eusoff Chin and Lingam." He also informed the commission that Chuah should also seek details of telephone transactions from a Berjaya-owned company, Mutiara Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, between 2000 and 2001. Mahadev Shankar then asked if Wee was aware of the commission's terms of reference, especially the one about determining whether any misconduct had been committed by the persons appearing in the clip. Wee was told that he could make submissions later, if he had other evidence which was relevant to the inquiry, and the Commission would decide on it.

"Why do you want to go after her, she (Chuah) has already said she is not aware of the investigations. She cannot go out of her scope of task," added Mahadev Shankar. Another lawyer, Azhar Azizan, who represented a group of Human Rights NGOs, then suggested that it obtain details of the telephone calls made by Ahmad Fairuz and Lingam from six months prior to the alleged call received on Dec 20, 2001, and six months after the incident. Haidar, however, cut off Azhar, saying they are not going to veer from their terms of reference and launch a probe into another issue.

Video clip transcript contradictions argued

ABOVE: Bar Council President Ambiga registering on Day 3

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16, 2008): Did the man in the video clip being probed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry mention "James Foong" or "James Kumar" in his handphone conversation? This was the most important of the 11 material variation between the two transcripts - one by the Anti-Corruption Agency and the other by the Bar Council - of the man's handphone conversation which was about the appointment of senior judges. Bar Council representative Ranjit Singh told the inquiry the lawyers heard "James Foong", which they say would be in the context of the conversation on judicial appointment as there was a judge by that name. ACA's senior supt Chuah Lay Choo, however, maintained that she heard "James Kumar".

Ranjit said: "I want to make an application if it was James Foong is the material witness in this inquiry to ascertain the content of the video clip since that part of the conversation as appeared in the Lingam video clip talked about the division between (former chief justices) Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah and Tun Eusoff Chin. "(Businessman) Loh Mui Fah testified yesterday that the whole matter of the meeting on the night of Dec 20, 2001, was about the decision of the court case still pending which was presided by James Foong. "Yesterday, when the video clip was played, I heard it as 'James Foong' and all of my colleagues here also heard the same. So we should hear it again in this proceedings and in the end we should make an official transcript." Commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar then told Ranjit the commission will decide and take note of the facts in the context of the conversation discussed. Chuah was yesterday asked by the commission to study the two transcripts and to provide an explanation on the discrepancies pointed out by Ranjit. Bernama reported that on the first contradiction, Chuah admitted the word "with" found on the third page of the transcript prepared by her was not mentioned in the video clip conversation.

Chuah also agreed that the transcript "Chinese Man: are extremely close, you know ..." should have been "Indian Man: Are extremely close" and the word "u know" was also missing and should have been "yeah". She said she was retaining the transcript "Indian Man: Yeah, Eusoff Chin in power" and was not referring to "Chinese Man". "After listening to the video clip again, I agree that (the word) "Indian Man: ... (unclear) ... thrown out because he is anti PM" in my transcript should have been "Indian Man: Got him thrown out because he is anti PM" because initially I could not hear clearly. "I am still maintaining my transcript, that is, "Indian Man:...He's going to be acting PCA" and not "Indian man:... He's going to be acting the next candidate".

As to the sixth contradiction, Chuah said she maintained in her transcript on page nine the conversation "Chinese Man: Does Vincent have any interests over PM?" On the seventh contradiction, Chuah said on Page 10 of the conversation transcript prepared by her, she agreed that in the column "Indian Man: ... the house...(unclear) ... it should have been "then Vincent will call me" after the word "the house". "After listening to the video clip again, I agree that on page 11 of my transcript, that is, in the column "Indian Man: Don't tell to crowd VK ..." should be "Indian Man: Don't tell in front of VK ...".

"Similarly, on the same page in the column ... I talk to the father and just just talk about ...(unclear) ..." it should be "... I talk to the father and just talk about the case." "On the last contradiction on page 12, I wrote "politics", it should be "politician". After the inquiry heard Chuah's explanations on the contradictions, Ranjit told the inquiry that he had other questions, particularly on whether Chuah could explain whether there was any audio enhancing technology in Malaysia which could enable the unclear parts in the video clip to be enhanced. Chuah said she was not sure as she was not assigned to the technical aspects of the investigations.
= = == =

'Honestly, I do not know ... I assure you, sir, confidential information is guarded very closely'

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16, 2008): Former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman told the Royal Commission of Inquiry the appointment of judges, ranging from the High Court judges to the position of the chief justice, had adhered to stipulated prodecures. He said the appointments also involved the selection of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim to the posts of chief judge of Malaya, president of the Court of Appeal, and chief justice. Samsuddin, 61, the sixth witness, said the secretariat formed to handle the appointment process depended on the list provided by then chief justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah and then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

= = == =Watch & listen to the 4 min Video Clip (Slow down 50% from 2min, for Clarity)

The following is the 2 min incriminating transcript as in this Slow down version

Then there is a letter, according to Tengku - I am going to see him tomorrow - the letter sent to CJ, I mean to Tan Sri Dzaiddin, that Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ali and Datuk Ramli and Datuk Ramli and Datuk Ma'roop be made judges, and he rejected that .Dr Andrew Chui and apa itu Zainuddin Ismail lah. Because Zainuddin Ismail who condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mokhtar's appointment. And then you also, you seem wrote a letter that the remaining five be confirmed as judges. As per our memo I discuss with Tun Eusoff Chin, and we sent the same memo to PM. So I just want to get a copy (of the) letter that that has been done. And then Tan Sri Dzaiddin said he is going to recommend for six people for Court of Appeal, but until today the letter hasn't come to PM. He never discuss, but neither has he sent the letter to PM. Yes, he has not sent. So I know it is under the constitution for judges all that is for your job, Datuk, to send, but we don't want to make it an issue now. (but we don't want to make it an issue now). Sometimes ah. Ah So okay. Actually I told Tengku Adnan to inform PM - PM to call you for a meeting. But I organise it so that Tengku Adnan will call you directly. And then I got your number, I will tell him to call you directly for you to meet PM lah. Ah so should be okay, then ah.. Correct, correct, correct because very important that the key players must be there. Correct, correct, correct, correct, Ah correct, correct. You know that the same problem Tun Eusoff Chin has. He tried to do all this and yet he has run out of soldiers. He couldn't do it because many are from the other camp.
== = == = =

= = == = == = =

"No, there were no other name lists received by the secretariat from any other parties," he said in reply to questions by DPP Datuk Nordin Hassan, who took him over document after document on the correspondences between Dzaiddin, Mahathir, the secretariat, the Keeper of the Rulers Seal, the Council of Rulers and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong via an Istana Negara official on the selection and appointment of the High Court judges. A list of five names - judges Datuk Heliliah Yusof, Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Ahmad Maarop - and two out of the five judicial commissioners (Datuk Zakaria Sam, Su Geok Yam, Datuk Sulaiman Daud, Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad and V.Thiripurasingam) was also submitted to be appointed as High Court judges. Asked about another two candidates, Dr Andrew Chew and Zainuddin Ismail, both lawyers, whose names were initially included to be recommended for the position of High Court judge, Samsuddin said he did not know the reason for their names being dropped as it was Mahathir’s prerogative.

Mahadev Shankar asked Samsuddin if he could explain how Chew and Zainuddin were mentioned in the video clip conversation, as only Samsuddin and Mahathir knew about the proposed names. "Honestly, I do not know how it appeared. I assure you, sir, confidential information is guarded very closely … security is very tight," said Samsuddin, to which Mahadev Shankar said he was puzzled how if the security was tight, the two names appeared in the conversation. "I must confess, it also puzzles me," said Samsuddin, saying he could not offer an explanation on the matter. Earlier, Samsuddin told Nordin he knew Tan Sri Vincent Tan as he had met the businessman in the course of his duties and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor because he was a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, MP for Putrajaya and presently Tourism Minister.

Samsuddin who said he did not know Lingam, when asked if he was aware of the clip, said he saw it on television. In reply to a question by Mohamed Dzaiddin’s lawyer, Wong Chong Wah who asked about Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad also being nominated for the same post, Samsuddin said he has to check the records. After lunch break, Samsuddin told the court that aside from the letters, he did not know whether there was any verbal communication between Dzaiddin and Mahathir on the elevation of any judges. He added that he had no knowledge of the discussions regarding the memorandum to Mahathir which was in the transcript. Another witness, Anti-Corruption Agency assistant superintendent Moses Lawrence, 33, said he went to V.K.Lingam’s home at SS7, Kelana Jaya on Jan 7 and recorded his voice at about 3.15pm. He said he used a digital recorder to record V.K. Lingam’s voice and that the transcript was tendered as the evidence. He said he also recorded voices of various Chinese, Malay and Indians. He said he recorded a total of 22 voice samples. He said he transferred the 22 voices samples into a DVD while V.K Lingam’s voice is transferred into a CD. He said he handed over the items to one Zulkifli Wan Yusof.

Pushpa Al Bakri Devadason, assistant director at MAMPU, said when she worked as assistant director I, Designations Unit, Federal Court she had access to judges government service book. She said based on a government service book, Fairuz was appointed as chief judge of Malaya on Sept 1, 2001, and he was appointed as president of the court of appeal on Dec 1, 2002. Earlier, lawyer Alex Desilva, who represents Loh Gwo Burne, informed the court that his client is now in Malaysia and is willing to testify in the proceeding. However, he was seeking an indication of when Gwo Burne would be called as he was not well, to which Haidar told him to liase with Nordin.

ABOVE: Loh Mui Fah father of Loh Gwo Burne (who shot the Video Clip) with his lawyer Amarjit

= == = == = == = == January 16, 2008 22:45 PM

Lingam Told To Read Out Transcript For Voice Sample, Inquiry Told

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam was told to read out a transcript of the video clip showing a man talking on a handphone purportedly brokering judicial appointments with a senior judge. Assistant superintendent Moses Lawrence, 33, of the Anti-Corruption Agency's (ACA) Forensic Unit told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the clip that he recorded Lingam's voice using a digital recording device. He made the recording in a room at Lingam's house in Kelana Jaya at about 3.15pm on Jan 7 and it took 15 minutes, he said. "Before that, I informed him of my visit and he agreed to have his voice sample taken," he said in reply to conducting officer Datuk Azmi Ariffin. He said the transcript was prepared by the ACA and he took the voicesample on the instruction of his superior officer.
= == = == = == = == == = == = == =

Lingam to tell whether it was him or not

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16, 2008): The lawyer implicated in the controversial video clip for allegedly brokering the appointments of judges, Datuk V.K. Lingam, will personally testify whether it was him or not who appeared in the clip. Lawyer R. Thayalan told the commission today that Lingam, who is his client, will answer the question himself when he appears before the inquiry as a witness. "He does not want me to make any statements on the matter and will address it personally," said Thayalan.

Commission member Datuk Mahadev Shankar had posed a question to Thayalan yesterday on whether Lingam had taken a stand on whether the person speaking on the handphone in the clip was him or not. Thayalan had stated that Lingam’s present stand on the question was that "the person in the clip looks and sounds like him". Thayalan also told the Commission they have sent the copies of the recording and the report from Cyber Security Sdn Bhd, which concluded the voice sample taken from Lingam matched the voice sample of the unknown person speaking on the handphone on the clip. "We have sent it to UK and USA for experts to analyse the samples and compare the results tendered here," said Thayalan. Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor asked if the exercise would delay the Commission’s task, Thayalan replied it would be done in about a week. Cyber Security’s conclusion also stated that the clip was not tampered with nor had any editing been done.

Updated: 08:27PM Wed, 16 Jan 2008

= = = == == = == == = and the accounts from Malaysian BAR, additional details not found above

The Royal Commission of Inquiry Into the Video Clip - Day 3 Session 1

Contributed by Dipendra A/L Harshad Rai; Wednesday, 16 January 2008 04:55pm

. I was not influenced by anyone, says Samsudin
. "I will answer personally," says Lingam
. ACA: Lingam forgot phone numbers
. Letters on judges grab spotlight

KUALA LUMPUR: Proceedings commenced at 10.14am. Dato' Nordin Hassan from the Prosecution recalled Chua Lay Choo to explain the discrepancies in the transcripts provided by the Bar Council and various other parties. Chua, having made another comparison said that on page 7 of the transcript, she agreed that the word "Chinese man" and "you know" ought to be deleted from the sentence that contained "Eusoff Chin and I are extremely close" which was uttered by the Indian man. Further, she also confirmed that she heard the Indian man say "James Kumar" and confirmed that on page 8 of the transcript, the words "get him thrown out" was accurate.

Chua also maintained that the words "he is going to be acting PCA" was actually said. Chua however stated that the words "does Vincent have any interests", should have read as "does Vincent have any interest". Further, on page 10 of the transcript, Chua agreed that the conversation was originally unclear and upon re-listening she confirmed that the Indian man said, "then Vincent will call me." Chua also said at page 10, the phraseshould read, "Don't tell in front of Vijay", and "I talked to the father and just talked about the case". Finally at page 12 of the transcript, Chua
could not confirm if she heard it as, "I 'appear', or I 'appeal'."

Ranjit Singh (appearing for the Malaysian Bar) continued cross-examining Chua and queried that James Kumar may refer to James Foong. Chua confirmed that she used a headphone to get the best possible audio quality. Ranjit then added, that this distinction was important because James Foong is a judge and that there is a need to ascertain the truth since Dato' VK Lingam
was talking about a dislike between Tun Dzaiddin and Eusoff Chin. This is in light of the testimony given by Loh Mui Fah yesterday that suggested Manjit Singh sought the assistance of Dato' Lingam in a case in Ipoh where James Foong was a judge. Tan Sri Haidar interjected and said that there was no need for this line of questioning as Chua already said what she heard. Dato' Shankar added that a mind is a special thing and Chua heard it as "James Kumar". He further added that the panellists will listen to the full transcript later and determine what was said and will make a note of what Ranjit had said in relation to a case in

Ranjit agreed but asked how much the panellists can get out of the transcript. Ranjit then asked Chua whether audio enhancing techniques were available to the ACA, to which Chua answered that she was not sure. Ranjit further asked Chua to the extent in which she investigated into the transcript and what steps did Chua take to ascertain the truth. Chua answered that she did try to obtain the phone records of Dato' Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz. Chua confirmed that she tried to obtain the phone records and numbers used by Dato' Lingam and Tun Fairuz in 2001 and 2002 but there were no record on the numbers kept or used by Dato' Lingam. Then Chua further confirmed that she queried from Maxis, Celcom and Digi Telecommunications in reply to a question from Dato' Shankar whether the telephone companies had such records in 2001 and 2002. Chua answered that the records were there but the numbers could not be traced as Dato'

Lingam used a pre-paid number.
Ranjit further queried if that particular phone in the video clip used by that Indian man was a prepaid number, Chua answered that Dato' Lingam could not remember his prepaid phone number and most of his phones are prepaid.
Then Ranjit asked if a similar investigation was conducted on Tun Fairuz, Chua confirmed that she did and that Tun Fairuz used a 013 number since 2000. She said the number could be 013-393- something. She also said that her department asked for an itemised list but could not verify Dato' Lingam's number. Then Ranjit asked if Chua came across Tun Fairuz's bill dated around 20 December 2001, Chua answered that at the time of her investigation, she had no idea on what date was involved. She was not even sure what month was involved. Chua also said that she is still liaising with the telephone companies on the itemised lists.

Ranjit suggested that if the call was incoming, it could also have been a landline. Chua said that she investigated Tun Fairuz's house and office fixed lines but could not do much as she did not have Dato' Lingam's number. She still was in the midst of liaising with the telecommunication companies. Tan Sri Haidar asked when was the request for itemised bill made, Chua said
it was made in October and November 2007. Ranjit added that since Chua is now aware of the date -
20 December 2001, she can do a match and asked if the Royal Commission would compel the telephone companies to provide these billings as they are not responsive to ACA's queries.
Ranjit informed the Royal Commission that he wanted to establish other facts and refer to page 6 of the transcript in relation to an election petition involving Wee Choo Keong. Ranjit referred to item (n) which was a copy of an unreported judgment of Tun Fairuz sitting as an election judge involving Wee. At this stage Dato' Shankar asked Ranjit if he would consider allowing Chua to stand down and return later after reviewing the documents. Ranjit was agreeable to this.

Wee (appearing for Thirunama Karasu) asked Chua whether she was aware that ACA had already begun investigating the link between Eusoff Chin and Dato' Lingam. Chua said she was aware through the papers. Wee asked if Chua was aware that between
5 March 1998 to 12 March 1998, his client was questioned by the ACA and made statements on the closeness between Dato' Lingam and Eusoff Chin. Chua answered that pursuant to the investigation parameters she
only investigated the allegations of bribery and nothing else. At this stage Dato' Shankar and Tan Sri Haidar interjected and reminded Wee on the terms of reference and that Chua cannot go on a frolic of her own and investigate and that Wee should leave this line of questions for submission and not now.

Wee then had one other question, whether Chua checked the records of Mutiara
Telecommunications, which was a company owned by Vincent Tan, Chua answered that she did not, and that she was not aware. Azhar Harun (appearing for the NGOs) suggested to Chua that she should investigate the itemised billings 6 months prior and 6 months after. Dato' Shankar said that since Fairuz and Dato' Lingam are witnesses, such question should be directed to them. Tan Sri Haidar sarcastically added that they will take note of Azhar's suggestion. At this stage a 30 minutes break was taken.

After the break, R. Thayalan (appearing for Dato' Lingam) said that Dato' Lingam will answer all questions in relation to him and that his instructions are that his counsel should not make any admission whatsoever. He further added that upon reviewing the expert evidence yesterday, his client will send the video clip to the
UK and the US to be verified and its authenticity to be determined. He added that it should take more than a week for the report and stressed that the original video clip must be tested and not a copy. Tan Sri Haidar reminded Thayalan of the urgency of this matter and the time limits the panel was working under. At this stage, Thayalan and Sallehusdin Saidin (appearing for Tun Fairuz) agreed to cross examine the expert witness at a later date.
The prosecution then called Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, the former Chief Secretary to the Government. Tan Sri confirmed that he was the Chief Secretary from
1 February 2001 until 2 September 2006, and while he was Chief Secretary, he was involved in the appointment of High Court judges, Chief Judge of Malaya, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, President of the
Court of Appeal, and the Chief Justice.
He then briefly explained the process of appointment of judges which in turn was based on the Constitution, ie. negotiations with the current Chief Justice, Rulers' Conference and the Prime Minister, etc. His main function was to prepare a Memorandum to the Prime Minister to be tabled before the Rulers' Conference. He also confirmed that to the best of his knowledge there were no other lists given to the Prime Minister of potential candidates. To a question by the prosecution, Tan Sri Samsudin said that he was the head of the secretariat in the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Judge of
Malaya, President of Court of Appeal and Chief Justice.

ABOVE & BELOW: The letters

He was then shown a letter dated 2 July 2001 from Tun Dzaiddin to the then Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamed where Tan Sri Samsudin confirmed that Tun Dzaiddin suggested that Tun Fairuz be appointed as "Hakim Besar Malaya" and that his reasons for doing so was that Tun Fairuz had more experience and was more senior. Tan Sri Samsuddin also agreed that Tun Dzaiddin stated in the same letter that Tun Fairuz and him could work together and had the
same understanding.

ABOVE & BELOW: The letters

Tan Sri Samsuddin also confirmed that on 17 July 2001, the then PM consented to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Judge of Malaya. The PM had also remarked "untuk tindakan selanjutnya" on the top right hand corner of the said letter, to which Tan Sri Samsuddin said, meant that he had to prepare a memorandum for the Rulers' Conference. Tan Sri Samsuddin also confirmed that on 23 August.2001 and 27 August 2001, the Rulers Conference and the Yang
di-Pertuan Agong respectively consented to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Judge of

Tan Sri Samsuddin then confirmed that no party including some of the names mentioned in the video clip had sought his help in the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Judge of
Malaya. He also confirmed that to the best of his knowledge, the appointment of the Chief Judge of Malaya was carried out in accordance with the Constitution.

In relation to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as the President of the Court of Appeal, Tan Sri Samsuddin told the Commission that on 19 August.2002, Tun Dzaiddin suggested to the Prime Minister that Tun Fairuz be appointed as President of Court of Appeal. The Prime Minister consented to this appointment vide a letter dated 9 September.2002. On
23 November 2002, the Rulers' Conference consented to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as President of Court of Appeal and on 25 November 2002, the Agong also consented to it. At this stage, Tan Sri Samsuddin also confirmed that the appointment of Tun Fairuz as President Court of Appeal was made in accordance with the Constitution and that he was not influenced and neither was his assistance sought in the appointment of Tun Fairuz.

In relation to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Justice on
21 January 2003, Tan Sri Samsuddin made the suggestion that Tun Fairuz be appointed as Chief Justice. His suggestion was only to read as a form of putting in the candidacy in relation to the Prime Minister telling him verbally that he wanted Tun Fairuz as Chief Justice. Tan Sri Samsuddin confirmed that he had to put in Tun Fairuz's name as a suggestion. He then was taken through the same process by the prosecution leading to the Rulers' Conference and the Agong consenting to the appointment of Tun Fairuz as Chief Justice on 13 March 2003. Tan Sri Samsuddin once again confirmed that the procedure under the Constitution had been followed. In relation to the appointment of High Court judges, Tan Sri Samsudin clarified that on 2 October 2001, Tun Dzaiddin wrote to the Prime Minister suggesting the following be made High Court judges:

a) Datuk Heliliah Yusof
(b) Datuk Ramly Ali
(c) Datuk Ahmad Maarop
(d) Dr Andrew Chew
(e) Zainuddin Ismail
He said the Prime Minister then asked him for his views and he then obtained the views from the Attorney General. The Attorney General supported only the first 3 names. Tan Sri Samsuddin added that he also forwarded a list of Judicial Commissioners to the Prime Minister. There were other Judicial Commissioners in service who could be considered for appointment as High
Court judges, and he left it to the Prime Minister to make the decision. On 5 December 2001, the Prime Minister wrote to the Chief Judge stating that he agreed to the appointment of Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramly and Datuk Ahmad Maarop as High Court judges.

Tan Sri Samsudin also said that the Prime Minister agreed to the appointment of 2 of the 5 Judicial Commissioners be appointed as High Court judges from the list maintained by the Chief Secretary's office. Tan Sri Samsuddin also confirmed that on 11 January 2002, Tun Dzaiddin thanked the PM for agreeing to the appointments and asked for a reconsideration of Dr Andrew Chew and Zainuddin Ismail as Judicial Commissioners. In a letter dated January 2002, which was unsigned, the Prime Minister wrote to Tun Dzaddin agreeing to the appointment of Datuk Sulaiman Daud and Dato' VT Singham as High Court judges but refused to agree to the appointment of Chew and Zainuddin. To the question why the letter was not signed, Tan Sri Samsuddin said that sometimes the Prime Minister did not sign his letters.

Tan Sri Samsuddin then confirmed the usual process of preparing a Memorandum and obtaining the consent of the Rulers' Conference and the Agong was obtained in this regard. Dato' Shankar then sought clarification from Tan Sri Samsuddin that how was it possible that Chew and Zainudin's rejection was known to parties not privy to the correspondence. In light of the video clip taking place on 20 December 2001, Dato' Shankar wondered whether there was security issue at the Chief Secretary's office. Tan Sri Samsuddin replied that he honestly did not know and maintained that security is very tight in his office. Tan Sri Samsuddin also said that he did not know Dato' Lingam personally but knew Vincent Tan officially because of the nature of his work where he would meet a lot of people from the private sector. He also knew Tengku Adnan who was then the Minister for the Federal Territory given that Tan Sri Samsudin was also then the President of the Putrajaya Corporation. Khoo Guan Huat (appearing for Tun Dzaiddin) said that before he cross examined Tan Sri Samsuddin he would like certain letters mentioned in the series of correspondence tendered as evidence be brought in as well. The Panel agreed and proceedings then broke for lunch at 1:45pm.

= == = == = = == == == =
The Royal Commission of Inquiry Into the Video Clip - Day 3 Session 2
Contributed by Janet Chai Pei Ying; Wednesday, 16 January 2008 07:37pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Proceedings of the Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip resumed at 2.35 this afternoon with the continued questioning of its 6th witness. The former Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman, took the stand to answer questions posed by Razlan Hadri, one of the counsel for the Malaysian Bar. Tan Sri Samsuddin testified that correspondences between the chief justice and the prime minister are official secret documents that even the ministers and deputy ministers of the Malaysian cabinet have no access to. Tan Sri Samsuddin said this when the question was posed with regard to a letter dated 5 December 2001, which was written by Tun Dr Mahathir to Tun Dzaiddin, stating his agreement that Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Ahmad Maarop be appointed as High Court judges.

When questioned as to whether the Prime Minister discussed matters on appointment of judges with Tengku Adnan and Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Tan Sri Samsuddin said that he does not know and that he was never privy to such discussions. As to whether the consultation process on matters relating to appointment of judges between the prime minister and the chief justice took place in the form of oral discussions or meetings apart from letters, Tan Sri Samsuddin said that as far as he was aware, during his tenure as the Chief Secretary, the consultation process took place via letters.

To a question posed by M. Puravalen, counsel for Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Sivarasa Rasiah and Sim Tze Tzen, Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman confirmed that he had never spoken to Tun Dzaiddin on issues relating to the appointment of judges. Puravalen then requested to have it on record that Tan Sri Samsuddin has never spoken to Tun Dzaiddin on the appointment of Malek Ahmad as
President of the Court of Appeal. After the witness was released, Alex De Silva addressed the Commission and informed members of the Commission that he is acting for Loh Gwo Burne (the
one who filmed the video clip). Loh Gwo Burne is the son of businessman Loh Mui Fah who has given evidence on the 2nd day of the Inquiry. Alex De Silva informed that Loh Gwo Burne is presently in the country and is willing and able to testify before the Commission. Tan Sri Haidar then directed Alex De Silva to liaise with DPP Dato' Nordin as to when Loh Gwo Burne should attend court to testify before the Commission.
The next witness called was Pushpa Al Bakri Devadason, who was at the material time a deputy director at the personnel department of the Federal Court. Dato' Azmi informed members of the Commission that the purpose of this witness was to tender service records of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Ahmad Maarop. Pushpa gave evidence on the dates as to when Tun Ahmad Fairuz was made the Chief Judge of
Malaya, the acting President of the Court of Appeal and his confirmed appointment as the President of the Court of Appeal. Dato' Azmi then proceeded to tender service records of Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Ahmad Maarop, and Pushpa gave evidence on the dates when they were appointed as High Court judges.

At this juncture, Datuk Shankar interjected to question whether there was a necessity to tender the service records of these judges when the prosecution 's intention was merely to adduce evidence on the dates of their appointment as judges. Datuk Shankar went on to say that oral testimony from Pushpa would have sufficed and there was no need to adduce the service records, which contain very personal information, as evidence. Tan Sri Haidar then directed that all the judges' services records, with the exception of that of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, to be returned to the prosecution. The last witness for the day was Moses a/l Lawrence, an ACA officer, who was to give evidence on recordings of the voice samples in the DVD and CD formats that were tendered as evidence in the 2nd day of the Inquiry. Moses testified that he had recorded the voice sample, which is in the CD format, from Dato' VK Lingam at the latter's residence on
7 January 2008 and that Dato' Lingam had read from the transcript (of the Video Clip) for about 15 minutes. He had thereafter recorded a total number of 22 other voice samples from a mixture of Chinese, Indian and Malay persons. After having marked and initialed on the CD and DVD, they were then handed to Wan Zulkifli bin Wan Jusoh, the head of the forensic technology division of the ACA. The witness was then released and the proceedings for the day ended at about 3.30pm

= === == = Go H E R E & see the Day 1 of the Royal C I on

Haidar, Steve Shim & Zaitun Zawiyah Declined to Discharge; Video Clip Recorded at Lingam’s House; Lawyer wants Loh Mui Fah cited for Contempt of Court


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