KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk V.K. Lingam was the man who brokered the appointment of judges over the telephone – this was what a businessman whose son filmed the controversial video clip confirmed.
Loh Mui Fah said the event in the clip took place on Dec 20, 2001, after he had dinner with Lingam at the lawyer’s house in Kelana Jaya.
“I went there with my son Loh Gwo Burne. It was supposed to be a discussion on my legal matter as well as an end of the year gathering,” he said, adding that Lingam had been representing him in a civil matter which was then pending at the Ipoh High Court.
Loh, 58, said the three of them adjourned to the lounge area in the living room after dinner when Lingam received the telephone call, which led him to the scandalous conversation.
“I heard his conversation because we were sitting in very close proximity.
“The Indian man speaking on the phone is Lingam and the person talking to him in the clip is me,” Loh said, adding that he had also asked Lingam about who the caller was and was told that it was the then Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk (now Tun) Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.
(Ahmad Fairuz later became the country’s 10th Chief Justice. He retired in October last year shortly after the clip was released to the press.)
Loh said he was not aware that his son was filming the conversation and only found out about the clip after it went public.
“My own office staff told me that my son was the person who recorded the clip,” he said.
Asked if he knew who had thrown the clip in the open, Loh said he did not know.
His son, who is abroad, was making arrangements to come back to Malaysia to testify, he added.
At this point, leading officer Datuk Nordin Hassan asked for Lingam – who was placed in a witness room next door – to be fetched so that Loh could identify him.
As a smiling, clean-shaven Lingam arrived in front of the panel, he looked directly at the witness.
Loh then looked back at Lingam and quickly said: “This is the person whom I met at his house on Dec 20, 2001. This is also the person who was speaking on the telephone as shown in the video clip.”
As the identification process took a little longer than usual, one of the commissioners, Datuk Mahadev Shankar, told Nordin off for making Lingam stand for so long.
“Don’t leave Datuk V.K. Lingam standing here,” Mahadev said.
As he was leaving the courtroom, Lingam smiled.
Loh then resumed his testimony. He said he had gone to Lingam’s house for dinner upon an invitation by the lawyer.
He confirmed that his son had taken two group photographs at the house – one featuring him, Lingam and Lingam’s sister while the other was of him, Lingam and another lawyer Manjit Singh, who has since died.
He said his son had used a Sony camera to photograph the still shots but he was not sure whether the same camera had been used to film the controversial video clip.
Both Lingam and Manjit Singh were acting for Loh in a legal case then which was pending before the Ipoh High Court of which Justice James Foong was the judge.
Loh said Manjit Singh arrived at the house after Lingam ended the controversial conversation.
Later in the day, CyberSecurity Malaysia’s senior analyst Mohd Zabri Adil Talib concluded that the voice of the Indian man in the clip matched a sample given to him by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) for comparison. The analysis was conducted in Madrid, Spain.
ACA’s superintendent Wan Zulkifli Wan Jusoh told the court that he was the person who handed over the voice sample in a disc to Mohd Zabri Adil last week. He also testified that the disc contained Lingam’s voice sample.
The hearing continues today.
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