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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lingam Tape report to be made public from Tuesday


Husna Yusop

PUTRAJAYA (May 16, 2008): The Cabinet today agreed that the contents of the report by the royal commission on the VK Lingam video clip be made public and copies of the report to be sold.

It has also taken into account the findings of the commission which has identified that the video clip recording is authentic and decided to recommend that appropriate action be taken against the individuals identified and said to have committed certain offences.

"Following these findings, there is a possibility that offences against the law have been committed as stipulated in the report. The Cabinet agrees for the Attorney-General (A-G)'s Chambers to institute immediate investigation on all allegations levelled against individuals identified in the report,” said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, adding the government is now in the process of preparing the necessary laws for the establishment of the Judicial Appointment Commission.

Asked for the names of the individuals identified in the report, he said, they are Datuk V.K. Lingam, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

When asked whether these people were implicated, he said: "No. No. I don’t want to say implicated. I said these are the findings of the report."

He said the various offences mentioned in the report included the Official Secret Act, Sedition Act, Penal Code and obstruction of justice.

"These are the issues that the A-G has to investigate. But I have to remind you, this report or recommendations are advisory in nature. So, you have to have another investigation," he added.

Zaid said the government is committed and serious about restoring the rule of law, returning confidence back to the judiciary and making sure that the selection process of judges and high officers are done in a transparent way.

"This is so that we ca minimise the shortcomings and weaknesses in the past,” he said, adding the Cabinet urged the public, including the media, to allow investigation process to proceed uninterrupted without undue pressure or any prejudice against any individuals identified in the report.

"It must be reiterated that in our legal system, an accused or a person implicated for an offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," he said, adding the public would be able to buy the report from the Legal Affairs Division from 2pm on Tuesday (May 20).

There are four volumes to the report by the Commission of Enquiry on the Video Clip Recording of the Images of a Person Purported to be an Advocate and Solicitor Speaking on the Telephone on Matters Regarding the Appointment of Judges, namely the main report (RM161.40), the notes of proceeding (RM123), statutory declaration (RM120) and exhibits (RM136.90).


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