Lingam video inquiry starts Jan 14

New Straits Times

The Commission of Inquiry formed to investigate the Lingam video clip will sit for two weeks from Jan 14 next year and it will be in open court.

Chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor said the commission would investigate whether there was misconduct by anyone identified in the video clip.

"We will begin our investigations on Jan 14, when we will call the first witness," he said yesterday after the commission held its first meeting.

Two senior deputy public prosecutors will prepare a list of witnesses who the commission could call.

They are Datuk Nordin Hassan, the Anti-Corruption Agency's prosecution division chief, and Datuk Azmi Ariffin, the head of the commercial crime division in the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Haidar said Nordin and Azmi could propose up to 30 witnesses, but "maybe 10 would be called".

Though the inquiry would be in open court, there could be occasions when it would have to be behind closed doors, he said, adding that some witnesses may not want to be exposed.

The hearing would be in a courtroom on the third floor of the Jalan Duta court complex, and Haidar hoped members of the public would come forward and provide information to the secretariat.

Of the person who made the recording, he said: "That witness is the most important. He must come forward and say he recorded it."

He urged that person not to be worried as the commission was established by law and had legal powers.

The report on the findings of the commission would have to be ready by March 11, Haidar said. "But there is a provision that we can ask for an extension."

Haidar also said he had yet to receive the full recording of the video clip from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser. "I hope he will send it in (for examination by the commision of inquiry)."

0ther members of the commission of inquiry are Suhakam commissioner Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim, former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Amar Steve Shim Lip Kiong, retired court of appeal judge Datuk Mahadev Shankar and former solicitor-general Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh.

Datuk Abdullah Sani, director-general of the Legal Affairs Division in the Prime Minister's Department, is the secretary for the commission.

Some of the commission's terms of reference are:

– to ascertain the truth of the content of the conversation in the video clip;

– to determine whether any act of misbehaviour had been committed by the person or persons identified or mentioned in the video clip; and,

– to recommend any appropriate action to be taken against the person or persons identified or mentioned in the video clip should such person or persons be found to have committed any misbehaviour.