V K Lingam jailed 6 months for contempt of court
Government lawyer Alice Loke Yee Ching says Lingam’s allegation of plagiarism by the bench borders on bias and incompetence, which will undermine public confidence in the judiciary.
PUTRAJAYA: Former lawyer V K Lingam was sentenced to six months’ jail after he was found guilty of contempt for citing plagiarism in a Federal Court judgment five years ago.
A five-man apex court bench chaired by Abu Samah Nordin said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“We have scrutinised the court papers and he is guilty of contempt of court,”Abu Samah said.
Lingam, who is barred from practice for professional misconduct, was absent from today’s proceeding. No lawyer was there to represent him, either.
He is currently believed to be in the United States of America.
Abu Samah said this was a fit and proper case for a custodial sentence to be imposed.
“A six month sentence is imposed from the date of the execution of the warrant of committal,” he said.
The bench, consisting of justice Ramly Ali, Azhar Mohamed, Balia Yusof Wahi and Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa, however, declined to award costs of the contempt proceeding as requested by government lawyer Alice Loke Yee Ching.
Earlier, Loke in her submission said the contempt proceeding started in 2012 and Lingam had left the country the following year.
She said Lingam’s allegation was serious and grave against the court judgment.
“There was allegation of bias, incompetency which undermined public confidence in the judiciary,” she said.
She urged the court to impose a custodial sentence as Lingam did not offer any apology, except to ask for adjournment of his case.
“The respondent (Lingam ) drafted the affidavit that made the allegation. He was the author and others were his clients who signed the affidavit (for review),” she said.
She said the others who had been charged with contempt had been present in court earlier, and had pleaded guilty.
“They were present to seek the mercy of the court,” she added.
Lawyer VK Lingam on the phone with Ahmad Fairuz. Among the names mentioned in the conversation are Tengku Adnan, Tun Mahathir, Vincent Tan…
‘Correct, correct, correct’ lawyer barred from practising
Prominent lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam, who gained notoriety for his “correct, correct, correct” quote which appeared in a video showing him discussing the appointment of top judges “friendly” to Barisan Nasional (BN), has been barred from practising law.
The Advocates and Solicitors’ Disciplinary Board made the ruling early this month to strike Lingam off the roll as there was “overwhelming evidence” he was guilty of professional misconduct in a 2002 scandal on the appointment of top judges.
Bar Council chairman Steven Thiru confirmed the decision of the board, which was made on November 6.
“We were informed about it last week,” he told The Malaysian Insider but declined further comment.
Lingam’s dismissal will come into effect 21 days after the decision and he can appeal up to the Federal Court.
It is learnt that a three-man disciplinary committee which heard the case made its recommendation to strike Lingam off the rolls, to the board which was chaired by a retired judge.
The Bar Council which was the complainant in the case, filed the report to the disciplinary board in 2007.
The video, recorded in secret by former Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne’s was made in December 2001 and posted to video sharing site YouTube in 2007.
The council viewed Lingam’s actions in the video clip amounted to gross interference with the administration of justice and reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.
‘I can talk whatever rubbish in my house’
Lingam gave evidence in the RCI and was best remembered for his quote: “It looks like me, it sounds like me”, when he was asked whether the man talking on the phone in the clip was him.
He also told the royal commission that it was up to him to “pretend” to talk to whomever he wanted to.
“I can choose whatever topic I like. I can even pretend to talk to President Bush if I like,” he had said to a question, adding that he was entitled to talk “whatever rubbish” in his house.
“That (conversation) was in my house. That was in the privacy of my room. My house is my castle. I am the king there. I can talk whatever rubbish in my house as long as I don’t get drunk outside and misbehave,” he told the RCI.
– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/correct-correct-correct-lawyer-barred-from-practising-law#sthash.m6osWbSd.dpuf
In December 2001, former Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne secretly took a video of Lingam talking on the phone, allegedly with former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, and then uploaded the video to YouTube in 2007.
The video showed Lingam brokering a deal for Ahmad Fairuz to be promoted to chief justice.
That year, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was formed to investigate the matter and in its 2008 report, the commission concluded that the video clip was authentic and recommended that action be taken against Lingam, Ahmad Fairuz and four others including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Lingam then sought a review of the RCI’s findings, which was subsequently struck down by the Federal Court in Sept 2011, ruling that the findings could not be reviewed.
Lawyer VK Lingam banned from practising law
Lingam was implicated in a judge-fixing scandal when a video clip of him apparently negotiating the appointment of top judges was made public in 2007.
A royal commission of inquiry was set up in 2008 to probe the matter.
The five-member commission recommended that action be taken against key personalities involved in the scandal – Lingam, former chief justices Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Eusoff Chin, Umno leader Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and business tycoon Vincent Tan.
In its 191-page report, the commission recommended that the six be investigated under a slew of laws – Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act, Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act and the Legal Profession Act.
Oct 2, 2007 – Who really is VK Lingam? Malaysiakini reconstructed this portfolio based on information available in a company annual report where Lingam is …
Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip
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