Witness says vital part of transcript ‘missing’

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: A transcript of Karpal Singh's press conference was made for his trial but an important part is missing, the High Court heard yesterday.

One of the authors of the transcript, Radio Televisyen Malaysia reporter Aishah Ahmad Azam, said she was sure she had transcribed everything she heard in the recording of the press conference held on Feb 6.

"But a part of the transcript is not here," she said when shown the transcript which had been tendered as a court exhibit by the prosecution. "I do not how it went missing."

To a question by deputy public prosecutor Melissa Mohd Akhir how that could have happened, Aishah said: "It could be due to a technical glitch."

The missing paragraph was on Karpal's statement saying: "I got nothing personal in this matter. It is a constitutional point and I think one which should be respected by all, including the ruler."

Aishah, 25, the fourth prosecution witness, was testifying at the trial of Karpal who is alleged to have uttered seditious words against the sultan of Perak at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama here between noon and 12.30pm on Feb 6.

Karpal is alleged to have said that the removal of Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin as menteri besar by the sultan could be questioned in a court of law.

Karpal's statement was aired over the electronic media about 8pm that evening, while several newspapers carried the article the following day.

Earlier, to a question by counsel Jagdeep Singh Deo, Aishah said that she had typed everything that was said in the video recording.

Jagdeep also pointed out that the numbering at the right side of page seven was not in the same position as the other pages.

Jagdeep: Do you agree that the page looks as though a paragraph has been omitted?

Aishah: Yes. I think a paragraph is missing. By right, the page numbering should be at the bottom right like the other nine pages.

Jagdeep: Do you agree that the missing statement was important because it shows that Karpal had said he had nothing personal in the matter?


Aishah: Yes.

However, during re-examination by Melissa, Aishah said nobody could have deleted the paragraph, adding that it could be due to a technical problem.

Aishah, who had started working with RTM two months before she did the transcript, admitted it was her first attempt in transcribing from a video recording.

She also said that her fluency in English was only moderate and that she did not understand the legal terms.

On another matter, Aishah also agreed with Jagdeep when he pointed out a mistake in the transcript.

She had typed the word rombakan (reshuffle), when the actual word used by Karpal was peruntukan (provision).

She also agreed that there might be other possible mistakes.

Asked if she had referred to the notes taken by the reporter who attended the press conference, Aishah answered in the negative.

"The reporter was not around for me to check with her."

She said the mistake could be due to her lack of knowledge of legal terms and also because she could have heard the word wrongly.

Aishah, who did the transcript together with a colleague, Afzan Sakina Sulaiman, said she was not sure if there were differences between what she had transcribed and what she heard in the video recording.

The first prosecution witness, Utusan Malaysia reporter Mohd Nizam Yatim, who was recalled for cross-examination, said he had used the word rombakan and not peruntukan in his news report, which was based on his tape recording.

Hearing continues.