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Opposition figure, Datuk Seri Anwar, claims to have even more proof on the brokering of judicial appointments
The Straits Times
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Malaysia's former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has released the full 14-minute recording of a video clip which allegedly shows prominent lawyer VK Lingam brokering the appointment of judges.
Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also leader of the opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), also claimed to have more evidence to back the allegations of judicial impropriety.
Online news portal Malaysiakini reported Datuk Seri Anwar as telling a packed press conference in his Petaling Jaya office yesterday that the additional evidence will only be revealed 'when the time is right'.
'We have incriminating evidence on the entire conduct of those named in the tape -- the role of (senior lawyer) VK Lingam, (business tycoon) Vincent Tan, (Tourism Minister) Tengku Adnan (Tengku Mansor), the money given to (former Attorney-General) Mohtar Abdullah and (former Chief Justice) Eusoff Chin.
'Other than what was said by Datuk Lingam's brother (V Thirunama Karasu), we have other evidence to support that,' he said, without elaborating.
Mr Karasu had made police reports in March against his brother, several senior judges and a former inspector-general of police over alleged corruption.
In these reports, Mr Karasu admitted to his role in delivering money and other gifts to several judges on behalf of his brother.
But Datuk Lingam has said his brother is mentally unstable. He has also produced several medical reports to back his claim.
The first eight minutes of the video was released on Sept 19 -- that clip shows Datuk Lingam purportedly brokering the appointment of judges with the then-chief judge of Malaysia, the No. 3 in the judiciary and later Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.
On Nov 8, Datuk Seri Anwar released a further 10 seconds of the video clip purportedly showing Datuk Lingam as he was ending the call.
A person whose face is not shown is overheard asking the lawyer about the subject of his topic.
The lawyer replied: 'Chief judge of Malaya.'
The unidentified person asked again: 'Who?'
The lawyer said: 'Datuk Ahmad Fairuz.'
In the newly-revealed segment of the video, a man -- whom Datuk Seri Anwar claims is a Chinese businessman -- is visible and seen talking to Datuk Lingam.
'I must have met him some time ago when I was minister. I would say he is a known businessman, not necessarily very prominent,' said Datuk Seri Anwar, who was sacked from his government and Umno posts in 1998 after a fallout with then-premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Datuk Seri Anwar had promised that the full video would be released after a royal commission of inquiry is formed.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced that former chief judge Haidar Mohamed Noor will head the royal commission. It has been given until mid-March to complete its tasks.
Reiterating his full cooperation with the commission, Datuk Seri Anwar said the whistleblower will also assist the inquiry, 'probably in the next few days'.
He said the whistleblower has agreed to cooperate with the the royal commission only after it is set up.
Datuk Seri Anwar said 'the whistleblower does not want to be harassed by the police or the Anti-Corruption Agency' ahead of the commission's meeting. 'We have to let the whistleblower do what is right,' he said.
Datuk Lingam has also said he is ready to face the royal commission to ascertain the authenticity the video clip.
'I am ready to face the commission any time, if I am called,' he said on Wednesday.
'I will cooperate with the commission in accordance with the rule of the law.'
Date Posted: 12/15/2007
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