Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google Search.

Lingam: ‘It was not Ahmad Fairuz’

KUALA LUMPUR: It looks like me and it sounds like me, said Datuk V.K Lingam.

He denied that it was former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim on the other side of the line.

“Irrespective of what others have said, it looks like me, it sounds like me.

“I’ve read literature on the subject of video recordings and I’ve consulted my experts who said the only way we can determine the authenticity is to have both the original clip and the equipment used to record it,” said Lingam, 57, the 13th witness on Day 6 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

He added he would not change his stand until he had both items examined.

Asked by leading officer DPP Datuk Nordin Hassan if he could identify the other man in the video, Lingam replied: “It’s not very clear but it looks like Loh Mui Fah.”

(Loh had testified that he was in Lingam’s house to discuss some legal matters when the video clip was taken.)

However, the lawyer denied that it was Ahmad Fairuz when asked whom it was that he was allegedly speaking to in the video clip.

“I don’t know (who it was). But certainly, I was not speaking to Tun Ahmad Fairuz because I don’t have his phone number and he doesn’t have mine.

“I’ve never spoken to him on the phone and he’s never spoken to me on the phone.”

When DPP Nordin pointed out that by replying in such a way, he was admitting to being the person in the video clip, Lingam replied: “It looks like me. You can ask me a hundred times, I’ll give you the same answer.”

Lingam, who had a number of portions of the transcript read out to him one after another by the leading officer, denied all of them.

He kept saying the statements were not true.

Among the portions read to him was one involving the appointment of High Court judges in late 2001. The portion read:

“It... According to Tengku, I’m going to see him tomorrow, there is a letter sent to ... ah ... CJ ... ah I mean to Tan Sri Dzaiddin that Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ali ... and Datuk Ramly and Datuk Ma’arop be made judges ... and aa ... he rejected ah ... that Dr Andrew Chew and apa itu Zainuddin Ismail lah because Zainuddin Ismail who condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mohtar’s appointment.”

DPP Nordin: Is this statement true?

Lingam: Not true.

DPP Nordin: It was mentioned here that “he rejected ah.” What does it mean?

Lingam: If I read this, it appears as if Tun Dzaiddin rejected.

DPP Nordin: How do you know Zainuddin was rejected because he condemned Tun Ahmad Fairuz and Tan Sri Mohtar (Abdullah)’s appointment?

Lingam: I do not know why he was rejected but some time in October 2001, I heard from some lawyers in court. While waiting for our cases to be called up, we were discussing the appointment of judges. I heard a gossip that Zainuddin and Dr Andrew were suggested for appointment. Then in late December, I heard Zainuddin and Dr Andrew got rejected.

DPP Nordin then showed Lingam a letter from the then Prime Minister to the then Chief Justice dated Jan 31, 2002, and followed up with a question on how he got hold of highly confidential information even before the Prime Minister had sent this letter to the Chief Justice to confirm the rejection.

Lingam, however, maintained that he heard it from the lawyers in October 2001 and that this was the first time he saw the letter.

“I heard in late December 2001 that the two were rejected. It spread like wildfire,” he said.

DPP Nordin asked Lingam who the person in the video was referring to when he said: “But you know the old man, at 76 years old, he gets whispers from everywhere and then you don’t whisper, he... he get... aa... aa taken away by the other side.”

“I don’t know who it was,” Lingam replied.

At this juncture, commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar pointed out that there were two aspects of this question – whether he had made the statement and if he did, whom was it referring to.

“I do not know whom I was referring to. I can’t remember having said this,” Lingam replied.

From this point onwards, the senior lawyer’s response to the portions of the transcript read to him was “I can’t remember having said this.”

Later, Mahadev again remarked that the inference drawn from his answer was that he had in fact made the statements but could not remember doing so.

Lingam agreed, saying: “Yes, I might have said this but I can’t remember. It was more than six years ago.”

Questioned by Robert Lazar, counsel for the Malaysian Bar, on his position about the man in the video clip again, Lingam refused to commit.

“I’ve already said that it looks like me and it sounds like me. But I’m not going to say anymore until my experts see the original video clip and equipment used to record it.

“They must be given the opportunity to say whether the clip has been tampered with or not,” said Lingam.

Lazar: Are you prepared to say you’re not the person in the clip?

Lingam: I’m not prepared to say that.

Lazar: So it could be you? It’s probably you. You’ve already said it looks like you. Do you know of anyone who looks and sounds like you?

Lingam: I do not know.

No comments: