The Lingam tape: The royal commission’s key findings
Posted May 17, 2008on:
|May 16, 08 7:09pm|
|The following are some of the findings of the 191-page report of the Lingam Tape Royal Commission, part of it was made available to the media today. The full report will be on sale next week.
Is the video clip authentic?
In the final analysis, when all is said and done by the experts, both local and foreign, stripped off all the technical jargon that they used in their findings, when examined in the context of the
We have no hesitation in answering in the affirmative.
In our view, when the testimonies of senior lawyer VK Lingam and former chief justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, which consist essentially of bare denials, are examined against the direct evidence elicited from the phone conversation in the video clip as well as the evidence of two eyewitnesses and the circumstantial evidence alluded to above, an irresistible inference can reasonably be drawn, namely, that the person to whom Lingam was speaking on the other end of the phone was Ahmad Fairuz.
In the circumstances, having heard the submissions before us and having regard to the totality of the evidence adduced in the enquiry, we are constrained to come to the conclusion that the identity of the other person concerned is none other than Ahmad Fairuz.
Was Lingam intoxicated during the phone conversation?
The evidence shows that he was not. This can be discernible from the following factors:
First, we have had the opportunity of viewing and hearing the video clip played before us no less than five times during the course of the enquiry. We are unable to detect both from his mannerisms and speech that the speaker (identified as Lingam) was intoxicated. He was able to recite accurately various facts and events in great detail. He seemed perfectly rational in every way.
Second, the witnesses, Loh Mui Fah and Loh Gwo-Burne who were present there at the material time testified that Lingam was not intoxicated. Indeed, they stated that they had gone to Lingam’s house to have dinner with him and also to discuss some legal matters. It is therefore implausible that Lingam would have allowed himself to get intoxicated.
Third, Lingam’s evidence that he could be intoxicated was not something that he recollected as a fact but which he arrived at by way of supposition and surmise based upon sight of a number
Was Lingam ‘bullshitting or bragging’?
Lingam had also maintained that he could be, as he said, “bullshitting or bragging”. Again, the evidence militates against this stand. In our view, this is implausible, given the details reflected in the conversation in the video clip; the flow of the dialogue and the fact that most of the statements contained therein have been established to be true in material particulars.
Was there a conspiracy?
In the final analysis, having regard to the totality of the evidence and for the reasons stated, we are of the view that there was, conceivably, an insidious movement by Lingam with the covert
In the process, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also entangled. That possibility was ominous when examined against the factual circumstances surrounding the rejection of Malek Ahmad as chief judge of Malaya. Their ultimate aim or purpose could not be ascertained with exactitude, given the limitation under the (commission’s) terms of reference. It could be related to the fixing of cases, as submitted by counsel for the Bar and others. Certainly, it is reasonable to suggest that it could not be anything but self-serving.
Invoke laws against key individuals
It is sufficient for us to state here that the collective and cumulative actions of the main characters concerned, had the effect of seriously undermining and eroding the independence and integrity of the judiciary as a whole.
For the moment, we would state that there is sufficient cause to invoke the Sedition Act 1948, the Prevention of Corruption 1961, the Legal Profession Act 1976, the Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Penal Code against some of the principal individuals involved. We do not discount the possibility of other laws being contravened. In any case, the findings have, at the very least, provided the catalyst for further investigations so that, hopefully, there would be complete transparency and full accountability.
This is absolutely essential if we are to wipe out, once and for all, the stain of that remark once made by justice NH Chan, in reference to the judiciary, that “something is rotten in the state
SPECIAL REPORT: The Lingam tape