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Growing calls for CJ to step down
PKR lodges ACA report over video clip on judiciary appointments
Llew-Ann Phang and Suresh Ram - Sun2Surf
Sivarasa told reporters the party had arranged for an appointment with FT ACA director Acting Senior Commissioner I Abu Zubir Mahfodz @ Hatmon to submit a written report on the eight-minute video recording which showed a prominent lawyer discussing judicial appointments over the telephone with a senior judge, an audio recording lasting less than a minute and a copy of the press release PKR issued at its press conference chaired by party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.
Anwar did not reveal the source of the video but said it was recorded in 2002 and showed that judicial appointments could be fixed.
"This is a follow-up action by the PKR after the expose yesterday of the video which was recorded in the lawyer’s home in Kelana Jaya," Sivarasa said.
The content of the video, he said, was a telephone conversation between the lawyer and the then Chief Judge of Malaya – the number three position in the judiciary – who was also the acting Court of Appeal president.
"We believe that the content of the conversation involves corruption among senior judges.
"The audio recording exposes the political conspiracy between the lawyer and a top level Umno official to sack Anwar from his position," he said.
Sivarasa added that PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had announced in an earlier press conference that the party would seek an audience with the Conference of Rulers to present them with the material and with Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah, who was once head of the judiciary.
When contacted later, an ACA spokesman confirmed receiving the report from PKR and said the agency will be investigating the case.
Meanwhile, the senior lawyer could not be reached for comment. A staff in his legal firm said he was abroad and would continue to be away at least until the end of the month.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, who handles the law portfolio, said the case of various parties featured in the video clip and alleged conspiracy in judiciary appointments should go through the proper channel and the relevant authorities such as the police or the ACA.
He said if this was not done, the authorities would only treat the issue as nothing more than a media report.
"There needs to be a proper channel (for the video to be investigated and) for me to call for an explanation," he said, when contacted.
Nazri said he would wait for the ACA to complete its investigations before taking any further action on the matter.
"I would be able to say more … once the investigations are completed," he said.
Meanwhile, the Bar Council has postponed its meeting on the controversial video from today [Friday] to tomorrow [Saturday]. Its vice-president, Ragunath Kesavan, said the meeting would involve all the members of the Bar Council.
"We would be discussing the video in general," he said, when contacted.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said in a statement he has written to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, calling on him to invoke Article 125 of the Federal Constitution to suspend the judge in question, as well as establish a judicial tribunal to investigate the matter.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia said the revelation would have serious consequences and affect public and international confidence in the judicial system in Malaysia.