Parliament: Key witness in Lingam case produced

(The Star) – Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament produced a witness at the Parliament lobby whom they said can testify that lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam had indeed paid for former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin’s trip to New Zealand in the 1990s.

Jayanthi Naidu, the senior lawyer’s secretary until 1995, was brought to Parliament at 12.30pm on Tuesday.

Among others, she said that she had assisted Lingam in booking and paying for Lingam, Eusoff and their families’ air tickets to New Zealand in 1994 on her boss’ instructions.

“The documents and holiday photographs have all been given to the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the Royal Commission of Inquiry (into the infamous ‘V.K. Lingam video clip’),” she said.

Jayanthi was also a witness in the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2008.

On Tuesday, she said that she had been ordered by Lingam on three occasions to withdraw cash of between RM100,000 and RM300,000 to be gift-wrapped and delivered to individual judges.

“On one occasion, I saw one of these money boxes being placed together with a box containing a cake to be delivered to a judge,” she said.

Reading from a statement, she added that she had told the Royal Commission that Lingam had written a judgment for a judge, Datuk Mokhtar Sidin, in the Vincent Tan v MGG Pillai libel case.

“The written draft judgement with corrections in V.K. Lingam’s handwriting and other related documents were given to the Royal Commission and the ACA.

“I am also aware of a few other incidents in Lingam’s office where he and other lawyers have written or assisted in the writing of draft judgments in which he also appeared as counsel for one of the parties,” she said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz, in his reply to Parliament on Monday, had said that Lingam had not broken the law for allegedly lobbying in the appointment of judges.

He said there was no provision in the law that says those caught doing so have committed an illegal act.

Earlier, he also said in written reply that a key witness in the case could not be contacted.

Nazri, in his reply to Loh Gwo Burne (PKR-Kelana Jaya), also said the key witness who could help in the case couldn’t be found.

When Loh said his party had located the witness and was willing to bring the person to Parliament, Nazri replied: “It’s not your witness.”

“It’s a different person. I can tell you the person’s name outside the House.

“We want to protect the person’s personal security,” he added.

At the Parliament lobby on Tuesday, Jayanthi, who was brought by Subang MP R. Sivarasa, claimed that she had been “contactable at all times.”

”The ACA and now the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) officers have at all times been able to contact me earlier for my statements.

“I also told the Royal Commission that in 1998, after I had given my statement, ACA officers told me then that they could not proceed with the case because it involved top government people,” she told reporters.

Sivarasa also pointed out that the Royal Commission report had said that urgent steps had to be taken to prevent the erosion of the judicial selection process.

He said the report also said that “other possible offenses which maybe invoked by the relevant authorities against Lingam are the Sedition Act 1948, the Legal Profession Act 1976 and the Penal Code. A breach of the Official Secrets Act 1972 is another area of enquiry.”

“The Royal Commission said fresh investigations must be started and that the integrity of the MACC was at stake, but nothing has happened,” he said.

Other MPs present at the press conference were Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor), Loh and Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas).

From The Star, Feb 13, 2008

Jayanti: Kiwi trip with Eusoff and family was pre-planned

KUALA LUMPUR: A former secretary of Datuk V.K. Lingam said that the lawyer’s trip to New Zealand in 1994 with former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin and their families was pre-planned.

G. Jayanti, who began working for Lingam in March 1994, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the controversial video clip that her employer had instructed her to make arrangements for the holiday some time in December that year.

Testifying as the 19th witness, the 45-year-old self-employed estate agent said she was told to follow up with Holiday Tours and Travel Sdn Bhd in Jalan Sultan Ismail to get the necessary travel itinerary and the tickets issued.

She said this was because Lingam had already made general arrangements with the company for the tour.

“I received two pages of handwritten itinerary from Holiday Tours for Lingam, Eusoff and their family members on Dec 14, via the fax machine in the office of V.K. Lingam & Co,” said Jayanti in a statement that was read to her.

She said she subsequently received tickets for both families as well as one Tan Chong Paw, a bodyguard of business tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, for the return flight to New Zealand via Singapore.

All the flights were the same for all the parties with the exception of one – the initial KL-Singapore flight for Eusoff’s family, which was half an hour different from that of Lingam’s family.

“This is based on the lawyer’s instructions,” she said in the statement.

Jayanti said that on Lingam’s return from the trip, he handed her three rolls of film from the holiday to develop, one of which went uncollected together with the developed photographs.

Apart from that, she said her boss also handed some ticket stubs from the trip to her for safekeeping.

She also recounted how one W. Satchithanandhan on occasions had advised her to keep all those items “for future use” and “for her own safety” as “V.K. Lingam is a dangerous and vengeful person.”

(She later gave them to lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who tendered the items as evidence to the commission).

Jayanti said Satchithanandhan had complained to her that Lingam did not keep his word on recommending him to the Chief Justice to be appointed a judicial commissioner in spite of the fact that it was he who initially introduced the two.

When asked to elaborate on that by Shafee, the witness said she had gone to Satchithanandhan’s office in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, after leaving Lingam’s firm.

It was then that he told her that her ex-boss had recommended Datuk K.L. Rekhraj for the post instead.

Asked for the reason she resigned from Lingam’s firm in May 1995, Jayanti said it was because she had been accused of stealing the lawyer’s shares.

“I left because I was accused of making off with one million Berjaya Group shares which Lingam owned,” she said, adding that she was handling the shares as the stockbroking firm was located two floors away.

“The shares disappeared. Two weeks later, he called me and told me that he had recovered them and asked if I wanted to stay on as his secretary. I decided to leave,” said Jayanti.