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Proving the video

As I explained before, the video recording that is causing all the scandal is a weak proof of corruption. The panel formed to examine the authenticity of the video may be looking to prove one of two things (or both) :

1. Whether the video is real, the person depicted in the video is VK Lingam and the person he is speaking to is Tun Ahmad Fairuz

2. Whether the allegations implied by what the person on the video are true

Let me suggest some possible ways to prove these items.

Is the video real? Is the person VK Lingam?

Well yes it is real (as in, not computer generated) and I’m certain there are third parties that can identify the person in the video as VK Lingam based on body language, voice and appearance. If it wasn’t him then this scandal would have died down sooner – it might be a very, very good impersonator of him but for the moment I’m inclined to believe it is him.

Is the person he is speaking to Tun Ahmad Fairuz?

Only way to verify this is to check VK Lingam’s outgoing call records for his mobile phone in 2002 and see if it corresponds to any mobile number or land line linked to Tun Ahmad Fairuz (that is a LOT of numbers by the way, I’m talking office, family, extended family, friends, clubs, associations). This video was taken in 2002. If telco operators of the time had a legal obligation to keep such detailed records and not simply purge them after lets say, 4-5 years then it is possible to verify at the very least, an indirect linking to Tun Ahmad Fairuz. Of course there are also itemised bills to refer to, if all the parties involved kept them.

However if VK Lingam did have some legal dealings with Tun Ahmad Fairuz then this phone record search is pointless, as you will see in the next paragraph.

Are the allegations implied true?

The lawyer mentioned the ‘fixing’ of judicial appointments. Now we only have the word of the person releasing the video that this conversation took place in 2002 and even then there is no date or timestamp on the video itself. The video could have been taken in 2002, 2003, 2004 – who knows, the only variable we have to work with is (please don’t laugh), the appearance of VK Lingam. We do not even know how long the phone conversation was since the video recording started mid-conversation, we do know the minimum length to be about 8 minutes so at least that’s something. Without a date to work with even a phone record search may prove pointless.

Why all this talk about the timestamp? Its simple – lets say the recording was made in May 2002 and the names of those who would be appointed judges had not been officially decided yet. If all the persons mentioned by VK Lingam were indeed made judges then it is proof of corruption. Not an information leak mind you, because there was no official decision yet. Maybe VK Lingam is a seer in his spare time? But there is no date so we are unable to take this simple approach.

It might be possible to see when the official appointments were made and if at the time there were any meetings or phone conversations between VK Lingam or Tun Ahmad Fairuz. That connection may cast a dark shadow on the reputation of both men, but still isn’t solid proof.

Update 4th October

Malaysiakini has published an article putting established facts side by side with excerpts from VK Lingam’s phone conversation. I will not post the article itself since it is a pay-to-read publication but will quote the facts and conversation comparison relevant to establishing the date of the video. The article can be found here (link) and was my main source of reference.

1. Promotion of the three judges

There is a letter sent to … ah … CJ – I mean Tan Sri Dzaiddin – that Datuk Heliliah, …er Datuk Ramli and Datuk Maarop be made judges, and he rejected that, Dr Andrew Chew and apa itu Zainuddin Ismail lah

According to the Malaysian Superior and Subordinate Courts Annual Report 2004/2005, Heliliah Yusof, Ramly Ali and Ahmad Maarop were promoted to the High Court on February 8th, 2002. Both Dr Andrew Chew and Zainuddin Ismail were never appointed to the bench. Because VK Lingam used the present tense to refer to this letter and a subsequent memo and letter, this conversation took place before February 8th.

2. Appointment of six court of appeal judges

Tan Sri Dzaiddin said he is going to recommend six people for the court of appeal, …(cut)…  he has now asked for six court of appeal judges, so that he can put his men before he retires.

Six judges were promoted to the court of appeal on June 8th, 2002 – Pajan Singh Gill, Richard Malanjum, Arifin Zakaria, Hashim Yusoff, Abdul Aziz Mohamad and Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff. So this supports the theory that the conversation took place before February 8th.

3. PCA and Chief Justice Appointment

Now I heard Raja Aziz, Raja Aziz ah, two weeks ago spoke to my lawyer Thayalan, and another lawyer Anad, in the High Court, they have a case with each other. So, Thayalan and Anad asked Ungku Aziz, how is Tan Sri Wan Adnan?

He said he is on his way down. But you know what is the shocking thing he said? Datuk Fairuz became CJM. He overruled everybody, in three months time, he is going to be PCA,  and 6 months time he is going to be CJ.

Given the context, this is just an estimated timeline most likely given by Thayalan, Anand, Ungku Aziz OR Ungku Aziz quoting Tan Sri Wan Adnan. So it is not a big deal that the actual date of appointments are President of the Court of Appeal on December 1st 2002 and Chief Justice on March 16th 2003, just over three months apart. If the timline quoted was followed exactly then the phone conversation took place in early September 2002 but the last two points indicate that the appointments were delayed.

That’s it. If we assume that the video was taken in 2002 then it would have to be taken between January 1st – February 7th.

I’m still trying to think of ways this video can be used to prove corruption and will definitely update this post if new ways come to mind.

Written by ak57

September 28, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Advice

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