Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

ACA Hunt for Phone Records

ACA officer ordered to get telephone records

KUALA LUMPUR: An Anti-Corruption Agency officer has been ordered by the Royal Commission of Inquiry to obtain the telephone records of a lawyer and a retired judge from telecommunication companies.

The commission’s chairman, Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, told the officer, Chuah Lay Choo, that the panel would assist her if these companies refused to co-operate.

“We can summon them to provide the records,” he said during the third day of hearing into the controversial “Lingam video clip” which purportedly shows a lawyer discussing judicial appointments.

(cut)

Chuah said she tried to establish this from the telecommunication companies from the number used by Lingam and Ahmad Fairuz in 2001 and 2002.

However, she said there was no record of mobile phones registered in Lingam’s name during those years.

Ranjit: Which companies did you check?

Chuah: Maxis, DiGi and Celcom.

Commission member Datuk Mahadev Shanker interjected and asked whether the companies had the records for 2001 and 2002

Chuah replied that they had records and investigations revealed that Lingam had used prepaid services.

Ranjit: Did you ask Lingam the mobile number he used during the conversation in the clip?

Chuah: Lingam told me he used a prepaid line but he could not remember the number.

Ranjit: Did you conduct similar investigations into the telephone numbers of Ahmad Fairuz?

Chuah: Yes, I did. He has been using 013 – … from 2000 until the time I interviewed him last year. We cannot verify because we do not have Lingam’s number.

Ranjit: Did you also check Ahmad Fairuz’s fixed telephone lines?

Chuah: Yes, We had.

Ranjit: Did you then come across phone calls made on Dec 20, 2001?

Chuah: At the time of the investigation, we did not have the date of the conversation.

Shanker: Is there any record to show calls were made on that day?

Chuah: We have yet to obtain the itemised bills for that number (013-…) from 2001 and 2002. We have applied to Celcom but have not received it.

Ranjit: While we are assuming that Ahmad Fairuz made calls from his mobile number, it could also be made from fixed lines. Have you ascertained that?

Chuah: I have investigated his fixed line numbers, both at home and office.

Haidar: Did you check?

Chuah: I did not go further because I did not have Lingam’s phone number.

Haidar: Did you check Ahmad Fairuz’s house and office lines?

Chuah: Yes, I only checked the house line.

Haidar: Did you ask for the telephone bill?

Chuah: Yes, In October or November last year, but have not received it .

Ranjit: Now that you know the date is Dec 20, 2001, would you be able to obtain the record for that day only?

Chuah: (Silence)

Ranjit: If the telcos refuse to cooperate, the commission can summon them to come here.

Shankar: You (Chuah) go to the telcos and ask them to give the records. Come back and tell us.

Chuah: Yes, I will do that. But even if I have the record ( Ahmad Fairuz’s), I will have to get Lingam’s number. I want to explain that I did not stress to the telcos the urgency of the phone records because I did not have the exact date of the conversation at that time.

Haidar: Go and get the records for December 2001.

(cut)

Wee also asked Chuah whether she had checked phone records at Mutiara Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, whose major shareholder was businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

Haidar ordered Chuah to check Mutiara’s records.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 17th January 2008 (link)

From this I gather that ACA only investigated phones registered in VK Lingam’s and Tun Ahmad Fairuz’s name. Why? VK Lingam did not have any number registered to him. The keyword there is him, at the moment we only have his statement to the RC that he was using a prepaid line, for all we know it could have been registered to his secretary.

Common sense says they should investigate any number linked to the two men, i.e. families/offices/workers. That’s a lot of numbers yes, but now that the date of the video clip recording has been established by Loh Mui Fah as December 20th, 2001, the task is much easier. Unfortunately it still requires a lot of tedious work since VK Lingam’s number was prepaid and in 2001 prepaid numbers didn’t have to be registered.

How tedious?

  1. Get every active fixed/mobile phone number linked to the two men as of December 2001 (lets say, 2000?)
  2. Check all outgoing calls from 7pm to midnight on December 20th, 2001 (e.g. 3 calls/hour comes to 24,000 calls)
  3. Investigate the names registered to the outgoing called numbers, see if there is any connection to Lingam
  4. For unregistered numbers, though one of them could be Lingam’s phone the telco can only establish which shop the prepaid card was distributed to
  5. Another approach is to repeat this search, but instead for numbers linked to Mahathir, Vincent Tan, Tengku Adnan, VK Lingam and Ahmad Fairuz and see what numbers they have in common on their call lists for 2001 – tons more data to search through, incredibly complex and requiring a lot of legal power. A practical impossibility.

If the telcos actually recorded which cell tower was in use for those outgoing numbers in that time frame….that would be amazing! Then the ACA could then just narrow the search to Kelana Jaya. Wishful thinking I know.

Perhaps the ACA is not legally empowered to cast such a wide net in investigating phone records, which is why they limited themselves to Fairuz’s and Vk Lingam’s registered lines. Its a shame since phone records were the only reasonable way of proving the date of the video recording.

Advertisements

Written by ak57

January 17, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Lingam RC, Local News

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: