Shows clip purportedly linking judge to 'appointment fixing'
Nazry Bahrawi, TodayOnline
firstname.lastname@example.org, Thursday, September 20, 2007
THE integrity of Malaysia's judiciary has come under the spotlight once again after former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made public a video purportedly linking a senior judge to an "appointment fixing" scandal.
The eight-minute video clip purportedly showed prominent lawyer V K Lingam discussing the appointment of judges on his mobile phone.
Supposedly filmed in 2002, the video — posted on Youtube, Malaysiakini and Keadilan's websites — was cut down from over 14 minutes to "protect its source". Mr Anwar, Keadilan's de facto leader, also showed the video to the media at a press conference at his office in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
In the clip, Mr Lingam was heard telling the other person at the other end of the line: "No, don't worry Datuk … We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the Prime Minister and the sake of the country."
Other well-known names mentioned in the phone conversation included a business tycoon and several prominent judges.
Mr Anwar told reporters: "This video recording implicates the highest office of judiciary ... It is mentioned in the context of a conspiracy to influence the appointment of senior judges and pervert the cause of justice ... In view of this, we have reasons to believe that whatever had transpired in this exchange in 2002 had some bearing on the outcomes in a number of judicial proceedings, including mine."
Mr Anwar, who was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, spent six years in jail after he was convicted of sodomy and corruption charges. The sodomy conviction was later overturned but the corruption verdict still stands.
Responding to queries from Today on his next move, Mr Anwar said Keadilan would file a special appeal with the Conference of Rulers, which comprises the country's sultans, to assume their "constitutional roles" and take appropriate action. He also said that his party would be lodging a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Bar Council.
In a statement yesterday, the Bar Council asked for an official investigation to be made into the video. Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said: "With the emergence of this video clip, the concerns expressed by various quarters in relation to the judiciary can no longer be swept aside."
— additional information from AFP