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Report invalid due to absence of commissioners’ signatures, court told

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Aug 2008: The Royal Commission of Inquiry report which rendered the Lingam video clip authentic and recommended action against six individuals for misconduct is invalid, said lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam.

He said the invalidity of the report was due to the absence of signatures of the five commissioners who sat in the proceeding.

Lingam, who represented himself at the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) proceeding today, seeking leave to review the commission’s findings, said each of the commissioners were statutory-bound under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 to sign the report to give it a legal validity and effect.

"In the absence of the signatures of the five commissioners who sat and constituted the commission, the commission report is null and void," he added.

The commissioners were chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor, 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 Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

The panel sat in the 17-day inquiry into the 14-minute video clip which was released by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, purportedly showing Lingam brokering on the appointments of judges on the telephone with former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

The commissioners, in their report which was released to the public, found the video clip to be authentic and also recommended that appropriate course of action be taken against Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two former chief justices Ahmad Fairuz and Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin for misconduct.

The commission found that there was sufficient evidence to investigate the six men on offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act and the Penal Code, and the Legal Profession Act 1976.

Except for Dr Mahathir, the other five men have filed applications seeking leave for a judicial review of the inquiry findings.

In the proceedings today, Lingam cited 12 grounds on why the court should grant leave for review of the inquiry’s decision.

Among the grounds included that the commission’s report was tainted with bias, erroneous and perverse because its findings were not supported by evidence and also did not give adequate consideration to relevant matters.

Hearing before Justice Datuk Abdul Kadir Musa continues on 4 Sept. – Bernama

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