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Nazri explains MACC probe into Lingam video clip case

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 June 2009: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has closed one of the four investigation papers opened on the VK Lingam video clip case for lack of evidence to press charges under Section 11(c) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said three of the investigation papers were referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

He said this in a written reply to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), who had wanted to know why no follow-up action had been taken against any individual following the recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the VK Lingam video clip.

Nazri said no follow-up action was taken in two of the referred investigation papers owing to lack of evidence to show any offence had been committed.

He also said no one could be identified as having committed an offence during the handling of classified documents in the consideration of the appointment of judges of the high court.

Meanwhile, one more investigation paper was incomplete as an important witness had yet to be traced, Nazri said.

The five-member commission, in its report, found that it was former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who was talking to prominent lawyer Datuk VK Lingam on the telephone, and that the video clip was authentic and that the conversation was true in substance.

The commission also recommended that appropriate course of action be taken against six individuals — Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and two former chief justices, Ahmad Fairuz and Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin — for misconduct.

It found that there was sufficient evidence to investigate the six men for offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act, the Penal Code and the Legal Profession Act 1976. — Bernama

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4 Responses to “Nazri explains MACC probe into Lingam video clip case”

  1. AKam says:

    Dear Malaysians,

    Please rest assured that nothing will happen to Umno ministers and cronies, until you vote BN out in the next general election. Everything else is superfluous.

    Frustrated Malaysian

  2. ktn_satayman says:

    They have a period……that’s why they are dragging their feet.

  3. Nicholas Aw says:

    Ministers and the authorities are obsessed with using the famous line: “There is lack of evidence”.

    Is it true the Attorney-General is the sole authority in deciding whether to charge or not to charge? And in the case of corruption, [is] the MACC chief … the one who decides? It is morally wrong to entrust one person [with the authority] to make decisions. It would be better if a committee is set up to make such decisions. If current legal provisions do not allow this, then the laws should be amended to accommodate the setting up of a committee to oversee this. Currently, the AG and others in authority are making a mockery of the law when they say “lack of evidence”.

    Let me put forward a hypothetical situation. A government officer earns RM3,000 but has a house and four cars. His house undergoes renovation a couple of times a year. Government contractors visit him each time he wants some renovation done to his house. During the festive season, he receives several hampers. To put it in a nutshell, he lives beyond his means. We know he cannot afford all these luxuries with the pay he receives, yet there is a “lack of evidence”. Again the law should be amended to allow the authorities to charge the officer if he cannot explain his lifestyle that doesn’t commensurate with what he earns.

    Obviously the provisions in the law aren’t adequate. If ministers have nothing to hide, then they should move a motion in Parliament (ther are politicians too right!) to amend the laws so as to portray the government as one who not only talks but walks the talk.

  4. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    There is a fundamental flaw in the findings of the Royal Commission into the Lingham affair which leads me to agree with Nazri’s reasons for not pursuing its recommendations further.

    Royal Commissions are by their very nature an extension or a throw back to the days when kings exercised absolute power over their subjects.

    Royal Commissions have extensive powers of inquiry that are not available to the courts. They do not follow the rules of evidence and can compel responses from witnesses, admit evidence otherwise inadmissible and in the hands of politically motivated lynch mobs, a dangerous tool for anything from character assassination to general vilification.

    Depending on the scope of the inquiry, the powers of the Commission limited only by the terms of reference it was given, it would have been impossible, barring an admission of guilt to the allegation (which of itself a properly constituted court may not admit till it has satisfied itself of the probity and the value of that admission and the circumstances under which it was made) for anyone to have properly concluded that the evidence of that infamous tape itself would have warranted the proffering criminal charges against anyone and that too under the Sedition Act.

    Let’s examine some critical aspects of this tape which surfaced conveniently at a very suspicious and expedient time. The eve of the last general elections. The primary mover of the tape and its presumed custodian one Anwar Ibrahim, a disgruntled former deputy prime minister with an axe to grind against all of the defendants or accused in the matter.

    What was tabled here at the Commission and before the media was a video recording made unlawfully (that in itself should have raised questions which it did not) driven by the estranged brother of the person identified as Lingam on the tape (motivation) showing Lingam or someone purported to be Lingam having a monologue with no evidence or proof there was anyone at the other end of that phone in his hand let alone the Chief Justice who he is alleged to be speaking to. There is no sound track to support such an allegation.

    Further the tape and generous volumes of commentary unsolicited, followed the publication of the tape by Anwar in what was clearly a political stunt which the media and elements of the Malaysian bar had swallowed hook, line and sinker.

    So what if an expert could claim that the recording is authentic? Authentic of what? A monologue unlawfully recorded is neither admissible as evidence in a criminal matter unless it is relevant. Where is the relevance here? When did a monologue enter into the statute books as being sufficient proof of a dialogue especially when the other party to that dialogue is not present, not audible and no proof of his presence at the other end of the phone line is established?

    We have to exercise extreme care in dealing with what is now unequivocally rumour mongering and the use of off the shelf technology to manufacture evidence in support of criminal allegations. Courts have to exercise extreme caution in admitting such evidence for the damage it can do to any accused. If the courts have now shown a reluctance to admit such evidence that in itself is a matter worthy of note to its credibility.

    It does not take a genius to realise that there is available ‘off the shelf’ software to create such images or to blend them into a collage or series of ‘events’ that could incriminate anyone. It is the tool of opportunists, the ruthless, immoral and politically bankrupt.

    If the Lingam tape is admitted as fact of the events and the offences purportedly being committed by Lingam and the unseen chief justice, then surely we have to accept the contention that pigs and dogs can talk as we saw in the film Babe. The lip sync was perfect as were the expressions on each of the animals which would rival the Lingam tape for its authenticity.

    This matter has to be laid to rest if for no other reason than it raises serious questions of the competence of lawyers involved in the matter and their understanding (or serious lack of) of the laws of evidence and its application in such situations (or any other situation for that matter).

    Perhaps it’s time that such matters were in themselves the subject of public scrutiny.

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