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Explosive revelations against Lingam

If the testimony is accepted by the Royal Commission Inquiry, is it premature to say the judiciary at the point of time of the incidents were rotten. I just cannot help commenting how the litigants were treated by a group of legal people without any mercy when they, the litigants, were hoping and praying for justice to be given without favour or fear. Don’t you feel sorry for them.

The Chairperson is a bit hasty, stopping this and that, but would he be not be accused that his duty is incomplete done in a slip-shod manner, half-baked, without merit etc etc when the report is submitted. What he meant as a joke was not one as such and the matter is not trivial.

Explosive revelations against Lingam

Soon Li Tsin | Feb 12, 08 6:30pm

A former secretary of lawyer VK Lingam stunned the courtroom with explosive revelations against her ex-boss at the royal commission inquiry today.

image In her statutory declaration, GN Jayanthi, 45, said she had stayed until 3am in Lingam’s office to draft a judgment which eventually became the landmark decision read by High Court judge Mokhtar Sidin in the Vincent Tan vs MGG Pillai defamation suit. This, she said, occurred between November and early December 1994.

Lingam was representing Tan, a business tycoon, in the RM10 million suit.

Jayanthi said she ‘vividly remembers’ how Lingam dictated a draft judgment from some handwritten notes while another staff J Sumanti typed it out.

“Lingam then corrected the pages with red ink. Sumanti then did the corrections and made a copy of the said judgment in a floppy disk that was to be given to Mokhtar Sidin.

“I later discovered the judgment written by Lingam was fully incorporated as the official judgment by the said judge,” she said.

She stressed that Lingam was assisted by his brother V Sivaparanjothi, lawyer Adam Bachek and former Industrial Court chairperson W Satchithanandan that night.

During questioning by deputy public prosecutor Nordin Hassan, Jayanthi revealed that she had booked the flight tickets for both Lingam and former chief justice Eusoff Chin for their infamous New Zealand holiday in late 1994.

She said she had planned the holiday based on handwritten itineraries from the tour agencies acting for them.

Upon Lingam’s return from the trip, Jayanthi was given three rolls of film from the vacation to process of which one was never collected by Lingam.

It was these photos as well as the ticket stubs and itineraries that Jayanthi had passed to senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

‘Dangerous and revengeful’

She told the court that Satchithanandan had warned her that Lingam was a ‘dangerous and revengeful person’.

image According to Jayanthi, the Penang-based lawyer was unhappy that Lingam (photo) had recommended former High Court judge KL Rekhraj as a judicial commissioner and not Satchithanandan.

“Satchi complained to me that Lingam did not keep his word of recommending him to be appointed as judicial commissioner to the chief justice, despite the fact that it was he who initially introduced Lingam to the chief justice (Eusoff),” she said.

Meanwhile, Jayanthi also revealed that the Anti-Corruption Agency had informed her in 1998 that the corruption investigation concerning Lingam was closed because ‘too many high profile officials were involved’.

She was also given RM3,000 by ACA which she accepted. She, however, could not tell the court why the money was given to her.

‘Not concerned with corruption’

Throughout the proceedings, commission chairperson Haidar Mohd Noor kept interrupting Muhammad Shafee from questioning Jayanthi on receipts of flowers and cakes allegedly sent by Lingam to various judges which was organised by the former secretary.

“We are not concerned with corruption. We want to see which parties are involved and we are only investigating into the closeness of the lawyer apparently brokering appointments with judges,” said Haidar.

image Before Jayanthi, Lingam’s younger brother V Thirunama Karasu (left) completed questioning after the commissioners refused his counsel Wee Choo Keong’s request to ask more questions.

“We have had enough of this. We’ve got more than enough evidence. We can go on and on about the issue of his insanity until night time. We must stop somewhere,” said Haidar.

Before leaving the stand, Thirunama got the crowd laughing when he thanked the commissioners and the lawyers for their questions.

“Thank you. Thank you for the questions. Have a nice day,” he said.

In another matter, Lingam’s lawyer R Thayalan made an application for commissioner Prof Dr Khoo Kay Kim to recuse from the panel. The reasons have not been revealed in open court.

“This means all the commissioners have been asked to recuse (due to connection to witnesses or lawyers involved in the inquiry),” joked Haidar, adding that they will look into the matter before the commission resumes tomorrow.

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