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Posts Tagged ‘ACA

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.

Written by ak57

January 17, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Lingam RC, Local News

Tagged with ,

Signs of ACA Incompetence

Lawyer wants details on Lingam’s ties with ex-CJ

KUALA LUMPUR: The lawyer representing Datuk V.K. Lingam’s brother raised the issue of close association between Lingam and former chief justice Tun Eusoff Chin, which according to him, was very important to ascertain the truth about the contents of the controversial Lingam video clip.

(cut)

Wee said he wanted the commission’s permission to ask Chuah whether the ACA had established the close association between Eusoff Chin and Lingam and whether she was aware of this in order to ascertain the truth of the contents of the video clip.

Asked by commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar whether she knew of the close association between Lingam and Eusoff Chin, Chuah replied, “No”.

However, Chuah said she was aware that there was an investigation on the matter when it came out in the newspapers.

Wee then asked Chuah whether she checked statements made by Thirunama to the ACA on March 8 and 12, 1998 and the fact that Thirunama was detained until March 17, 1998 pertaining to the issue of close association between Lingam and Eusoff Chin.

At this stage, commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Nor interjected and said whatever Wee said was the subject matter of another investigation.

Wee then asked Chuah whether she had checked Thirunama’s statement about Eusoff Chin and Lingam going on a trip together in 1980. Chuah replied, “No”.

Wee: Did you not think it was important for you to go into the statement of Thirunama on March 8, 1988 recorded by the ACA to ascertain the truth of remarks made by the man in the video clip that he was close to Eusoff Chin?

Chuah: My investigation is to ascertain whether there was corrupt practice or abuse of power and I didn’t record statements from all individuals mentioned in the transcript.

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

No probe on allegations

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Corruption Agency did not investigate the allegations by Datuk V.K. Lingam’s estranged brother that the lawyer was very close to former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin.

Senior superintendent Chuah Lay Choo, the investigating officer assisting the Royal Commission of Inquiry, said she did not check on allegations contained in V. Thirunama Karasu’s statements to the agency in 1998 because it was the subject matter of another investigation.

“In this case, I merely focused on whether there was corruption or abuse of power,” she replied to questions by counsel Wee Choo Keong who represented Thirunama in the inquiry.

Wee said he had raised the issue because the investigation was very important to ascertain the truth of the contents of the video clip.

Wee also asked whether Chuah had checked with Mutiara Telecommunications Sdn Bhd to trace former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz’s call records in December 2001 – the time the video clip was filmed.

Chuah replied that she did not because she was not aware of the existence of the company.

(cut)

Wee, who was granted leave to appear on his client’s behalf throughout the inquiry, said Thirunama had driven Lingam to Eusoff’s house and delivered mobile phone applications and bags to judges’ houses at night.

“My client can assist the Commission in that he can show how close Lingam was to judges and Eusoff Chin,” said Wee, adding that being a witness would guarantee his client the protection under the Commission of Inquiry Act.

The panel then told him that they would consider the relevance of such evidence “when the time comes”.

In her testimony yesterday, Chuah said she could not complete her investigations because she had yet to get the number of the mobile phone Lingam was using in December 2001. Lingam told her he was using prepaid numbers.

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

Forgive me for saying this, but Chuah is starting to come across as rather incompetent. In investigating (in her own words): “whether there was corrupt practice or abuse of power” she ignored information/sources related to that.

1. Prior statements by Thirunama to the ACA in 1998 related to the relationship between Eusoff Chin and VK Lingam
Ok, this may be because it is an ongoing investigation and therefore the contents of that investigation have to remain secret, as per the Anti Corruption Act. Why not take a statement from Thirunama in the present day then?

2. Unaware of existence of Mutiara Telecommunications
She did realise she was looking back at 2001 right? Nobody at the office aware of telcos? What if the number belonged to an overseas operator..where do you go to find out then?

Frankly speaking I’m not that interested in overseas trips by Eusoff Chin and VK Lingam… its only useful to help nail Lingam on the cross and let the bigger fish get away.

Written by ak57

January 17, 2008 at 11:15 pm

ACA Confirms VK Lingam Video Location

Living room in video clip same as the one in lawyer’s house

KUALA LUMPUR: The living room featured in the V.K. Lingam video clip is the same as the one in the lawyer’s house in Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya.

(cut)

Continuing her testimony, Supt Chuah said she instructed ACA Senior Asst Supt Shahadan Mohd Yatim to take photographs of the living room at Datuk V.K. Lingam’s house in Kelana Jaya where she herself had been to.

She confirmed that 17 screenshots from the video, which were displayed one by one in a slideshow on four large plasma TV screens in the courtroom, were similar to the 17 photographs taken by her subordinate.

In conclusion, Supt Chuah said, the video clip featured the same place that was photographed.

To a question by Lingam’s counsel R. Thayalan, the witness confirmed that the video clip she received was a copy and not the original clip itself.

At the end of yesterday’s proceedings, Ranjit Singh – counsel for the Malaysian Bar – told the commission that he would like to compare Supt Chuah’s transcript with the one prepared “meticulously” by the Bar to ensure that the wordings were accurate.

– quoted from an article published in The Star on 15th January 2008 (link)

As for the images, here are the ones published in The Star – its quite obvious its the same room, check out the picture on the wall:

VK Lingam Living Room Comparison

Why VK Lingam didn’t start renovation of his house in September, I have no idea… sure it would make him look suspicious but at least it would make his denial that the man in the video is him less daft don’t you think? Is he so arrogant so as to not even bother desperate acts like that?

Other things worth noting:

  • Thayalan ascertaining for the record that the original video clip was not received by the ACA official, probably laying groundwork for a defence stating that without the original the video clip could be a forgery
  • The Bar comparing their transcript with the one done by ACA, does that imply that the ACA will need to change theirs to match the Bar’s? That can’t be it, it would be improper for them to be influenced by the Bar Council so I guess its just for the Bar’s reference

Written by ak57

January 15, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Posted in Local News

Tagged with ,

Spanish Magic

Spanish voice check for Lingam tape

KUALA LUMPUR: Spain may hold the key to establishing the authenticity of a video clip featuring lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam purportedly talking to a senior judge on judicial appointments.

The Anti-Corruption Agency is hoping that experts there may be able to verify if the voice on the clip was Lingam’s.

Sources said two ACA officers left for Madrid on Monday with a voice sample of the lawyer for use in the exercise.

It is unclear as to why the ACA was looking to Spain for answers as the nation is not particularly well-known for such expertise.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 11th January 2008 (link)

Why don’t we send it to Japan, Hungary or some other country known for technical expertise – maybe ACA got a good price quote for the analysis? Voice print identification would confirm the identities of VK Lingam and the man whom he was speaking to after the phone call, though unfortunately not the voice of the person on the other end of the phone.

The trip was a success though, as reported a few days later :

Spanish experts make a voice match

KUALA LUMPUR: Laboratory tests in Spain have proven that the voice on the so-called Lingam video clip matched that of lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam.

Sources said that the finding came after two days of analysis at a private laboratory in Madrid last week.

“This technical finding will be tendered before the Royal Commission of Inquiry through a witness as early as tomorrow (today),” a source told the New Straits Times.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 14th January 2008 (link)

More evidence added against VK Lingam – if he’s smart he should come clean and say he was faking the call, an adequate defense unless telco records for him and Fairuz are obtained.

Spanish Magic

Written by ak57

January 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Posted in AK57 Comics, Local News

Tagged with ,

Bar Council can comment but not take part

Bar Council ‘can take part in hearings on video clip’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council is welcome to take part in the royal commission hearings on the “Lingam” video clip, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said.

“We have no problems with it. They can come forward and give us their input.”

However, he said there was no possibility that Bar Council members could become royal commissioners themselves.

“There is no chance of that happening. How can they act fairly and be unbiased if they have already marched against the judiciary? They have already made their stand.

“Secondly, Lingam is a member of the Bar. Just like they don’t trust the police to investigate their own, how can the Bar be part of an investigation into one of their members?

“Justice must not merely be served, but must be seen to be served,” he said.

In the video clip, lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam is allegedly shown discussing judicial appointments with a senior judge.

The terms of reference for the royal commission of inquiry was up to the government, Nazri said.

“It is not for the Bar Council to decide, but the government.

“We won’t consult them and we will not give up our right to decide.”

Nazri said the terms had not been finalised.

“We (the cabinet) have given our opinions, but the prime minister has not finalised anything yet.”

He also said the government was happy with the present system of appointing judges and would not be changing it, despite calls to set up an independent judicial appointments and promotions commission.

(cut) …

In Putrajaya, sources said the Anti-Corruption Agency was still gathering evidence in relation to the video clip.

Investigations were still continuing and the case had not been wrapped up.

In Kuala Lumpur, a lawyer yesterday filed an application seeking a declaration that the resolutions made during the Bar Council extraordinary general meeting on Thursday relating to the “Lingam” video clip were null and void.

Lian Meng Wah, in his application filed at the High Court yesterday, said the Bar Council was not a member of the Malaysian Bar and does not have the power, authority or right to propose any motion under the Legal Profession Act 1976 to be considered at the EGM.

He further stated that the meeting was legal but the motions were illegal and unconstitutional.

Lian, a member of the Malaysian Bar, claimed the resolutions deemed illegal during the EGM include:

– The Malaysian Bar strongly deplores and condemns any member of the Bar who indulges in any conduct that may adversely affect the independence, integrity and credibility of the judiciary or the administration of justice;

– The Malaysian Bar strongly deplores and condemns the manipulation of the appointments and promotion process of judges by any party which interferes with and adversely affects the independence, integrity and credibility of the judiciary, and

– The Malaysian Bar welcomes the announcement of the prime minister to establish a royal commission of inquiry.

Lian sought an order to set aside the adoption of the Bar Council motion as a resolution of the Malaysian Bar and an injunction to refrain the Bar Council from publishing, implementing, acting upon, prosecuting or canvassing the resolutions of the EGM.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 24th November 2007 (link)

For once I agree with Nazri, to prevent a conflict of interest no Bar council member should be part of the Royal Commission. However, wasn’t Haidar also linked to VK Lingam yet given the OK to head the Panel? Sounds like selective judgement sir.

That part about the government being happy with the current system of appointing judges is also disheartening – now is your chance to get support for the government sir! Make a big show of improving the system, get more votes from the less-informed population who only read the media that you control.

Then again it may still happen, to distract from whatever happens at the HINDRAF gathering tomorrow.

It is worth noting that the ACA is reported to be still investigating matters related to the video clip, though that may just be their interview with VK Lingam and nothing more.

Finally out of all the members of the Bar Council, only one had a beef with the result of the meeting? I am not that familiar with legal parlance, but by filing the report and saying the stated resolutions were illegal, is Lian Meng Wah endorsing :

  • conduct that adversely affects the independence, integrity and credibility of the judiciary
  • the manipulation of the appointments and promotion process of judges

There is nothing to ‘implement, act upon or prosecute’ here, unless you count future condemnation of Bar Council members who practice corruption. What is he talking about? There must be more to this than what was printed.

Perhaps he is just a stickler to the rules (I’ll have to pick up a copy of the Legal Profession Act now sigh) and the Malaysian Bar might not have the right to officially give comment on the process of appointing/promoting judges or on the performance of its members.

Written by ak57

November 25, 2007 at 3:31 am

VK Lingam Makes The Headlines

Looks like the government is going all out to draw public attention away from more important issues (like the BERSIH rally and the upcoming HINDRAF memorandum delivery?) and instead focus on VK Lingam. Even The Star finally spilled out the same details NST had been ballsy enough to print weeks ago. Lets look at the major events of the week, there has been too much for me to do my usual day by day post.

Nov 19th (Monday)

  • VK Lingam dismisses the allegations made by his brother by saying ACA already investigated and dismissed them in 1998. (link)
  • The police report made by V. Thirunama Karasu (VK Lingam’s brother) will be referred to the ACA. (link)
  • Both NST and The Star ran this story on the frontpage the next day.

Nov 20th (Tuesday)

  • V. Thirunama gives his statement to ACA. Claims he is not Whistle Blower. (link)
  • DPM Najib states that the Cabinet will discuss the Royal Commission’s terms of reference, scope of power and members on the 21st. (link)

Nov 21st (Wednesday)

  • The Cabinet did not discuss the Royal Commission at all and instead decided to postpone it to next week so that the PM would be able to attend. (link)
  • VK Lingam seen entering ACA hq, presumably to give a statement. (link)
  • ACA reopens investigation into corruption allegations against VK Lingam based on new leads provided by his brother. (link)
  • VK Lingam claims his brother is a suicidal psychiatric patient and claims to have medical documents to prove it. (link)
  • ACA records a statement from a judge in his 70s (not Fairuz) regarding one of the VK Lingam corruption charges.  (link)

Nov 22nd (Thursday)

  • ACA clears VK Lingam of all but one graft allegation. (link)
  • The Bar Council held an extraordinary general meeting and passed a resolution to call the judiciary to support the Royal Commission investigating the Lingam video clip. The previous resolution to boycott the courts for an hour on a specified date was adjourned to March in light of the RC formation. (link)

What’s interesting is that since the spotlight is not on Fairuz at all, it looks like my earlier prediction might be right after all – VK Lingam as a scapegoat, case closed.

Written by ak57

November 25, 2007 at 1:34 am

Posted in Local News

Tagged with ,

Informers Unprotected?

Informers’ identities ‘protected until hearings’

IPOH: Informers will have their identities protected until their cases come up in court where everything will be made public, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said yesterday.

He said once someone was charged, there would no longer be any secrecy.

“It’s open to the public. Everybody know who the witness and the source is.”

The names of police informers, which Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff alleged were leaked in charges against several CCID officers recently, were in the public domain as the case was brought to court, Nazri said after attending a Hari Raya gathering at the Perak ACA office here.

Nazri said he did not know where the leak came from, but denied that it was the fault of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

“I’m very confident that the ACA knows what they are doing because they have been in this business for a long time. They do not reveal their sources.”

“If there’s any leakage, it must be from some other (party).”

He said the ACA did not have any agenda except to combat corruption and urged the public to continue co-operating with it.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 5th November 2007 (link)

I am assuming that Nazri is talking about police informants – does he mean that if lets say a Mafia member leaks some information to the police, his name will be publicised and he will face reprisal in future? What a horrifying thought!

Now it is hard to comment on what Nazri said, because I am uncertain what laws govern the secrecy of police informer identities. Since the quote involves the ACA, let me quote from the Anti Corruption Act, which does have a section on protection of informers (who inform the ACA on corruption):

53. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any complaint made by an officer of the Agency states that the complaint is made in consequence of information received by the officer making the complaint, the information referred to in the complaint and the identity of the person from whom such information is received shall be secret between the officer who made the complaint and the person who gave the information, and everything contained in such information, the identity of the person who gave the information and all other circumstances relating to the information, including the place where it was given, shall not be disclosed or be ordered or required to be disclosed in any civil, criminal or other proceedings in any court, tribunal or other authority.

(2) If any book, paper or other document, or any visual or sound recording, or other matter or material which is given in evidence or liable to inspection in any civil, criminal or other proceedings in any court, tribunal or other authority as are referred to in subsection (1) contains an eny entry or other matter in which any person who gave the information is named or described or show, or which might lead to his discovery, the court before which the proceedings are held shall cause all such parts thereof or passages therein to be concealed from view or to be obliterated or otherwise removed so far as is necessary to protect such person from discovery.

So basically ACA informers should have their identities kept secret forever, by law. Something worth remembering.

Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 2:22 am

Posted in Legal Matters, Local News

Tagged with