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Video clip makes its debut in open court

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission watched the full 14-minute footage of the V.K. Lingam video clip in open court for the first time yesterday.

The viewing was done during the testimony of ACA investigating officer Senior Supt Chuah Lay Choo, the inquiry’s second witness.

The clip, which was played at 3.43pm and viewed by all in the courtroom on four plasma TV screens, features an Indian man wearing a long-sleeved shirt talking on the handphone to someone about the appointment of senior judges.

In the phone conversation, the man – believed to be lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam – mentions the names of former Chief Justices Tun Eusoff Chin, Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah and several politicians, including then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Stringent checks: Journalists and observers attending the inquiry being screened by police officers before entering the courtroom Monday. Only 60 people were allowed in while a large crowd waited outside for news from those coming out during short breaks. – NORAFIFI EHSAN / The Star
After he hangs up the phone, the clip shows a Chinese man sitting on the couch asking him who he was talking to. The Indian man replies that he was speaking to the then newly appointed Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk (now Tun) Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, who later became the country’s 10th Chief Justice.

Questioned further by the Chinese man, the Indian man also claims that he was the person responsible for the appointment of Ahmad Fairuz as Chief Judge.

The Indian man also talks about alleged politics within the judiciary and claims how a certain tycoon “bent over backwards” to please the prime minister so as to be in his good books.

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