Posted by SM Maulana
KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 (Bernama) — Former Chief Justice Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin today applied for a judicial review to strike off whole or part of the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V.K. Lingam video clip on grounds that the inquiry was conducted in an unfair, prejudiced and biased manner. He also sought a court order, costs and other relief deemed fit.
Mohd Eusoff, who was the 11th witness in the 17-day inquiry from Jan 14, filed his application at the High Court Registrar’s Office (Appeals and Special Powers Division), Jalan Duta, here, through Messrs Omar, Ismail Hazman & Co.
Mohd Eusoff, 73, who was Chief Justice from September 1994 until December 2000, also submitted a sworn supporting affidavit together with his application for judicial review.
He has named the chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor and its four members, Tan Sri Amar Steve Shim Lip Kiong, Datuk Mahadev Shankar, Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh and Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim as the respondents.
Lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan had filed a similar application on Monday, followed by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Tuesday.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up after the public disclosure of the video clip which showed Lingam in a telephone conversation, purportedly with the then Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, allegedly fixing the appointment of judges.
On May 16, the cabinet asked the Attorney-General to order the relevant agencies to investigate the allegations against former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mohd Eusoff, Ahmad Fairuz, Tengku Adnan, Tan and Lingam who were implicated in the video clip case.
The Royal Commission, in its inquiry report, said there were strong reasons for the Sedition Act 1948, Anti-Corruption Act 1961, Legal Profession Act 1976 and Official Secrets Act 1972 to be used against the individuals involved.
Mohd Eusoff, in his affidavit, stated that the inquiry report which was completed on May 9, was baseless, bias, mala fide, prejudiced and contained false assumptions by accepting evidence from irrelevant witnesses.
He charged that in reaching their decision and making recommendations in the inquiry report, the respondents had wrongly and deliberately accepted factual evidence that were irrelevant, besides having no concrete evidence and this had prejudiced him.
Mohd Eusoff said all the respondents had erred in facts and law and were prejudiced against him in making their findings as they were based on inferences and not supported by solid evidence and facts.
“What is even more disheartening is that the report took into account the testimonies of witnesses with questionable credibility, who lied and had a bad motive and intention against me and another witness, Datuk V.K. Lingam.”
Mohd Eusoff also said that his close ties with Lingam was irrelevant and had nothing to do with any alleged attempt to arrange or lobby for any individual to be appointed a High Court judge or for the alleviation of any judge because the video clip recording was made in December 2001, 12 months after he had retired.
He said although there were evidence to assist the inquiry to find the truth, the respondents were more interested in making their own assumptions, contrary to the evidence and information available, as though the respondents had a personal agenda to tarnish his and the Attorney-General’s integrity in the public eye.
Mohd Eusoff said the respondents had made inferences that were against the principles of law in the inquiry report when they claimed that his evidence given during the inquiry was merely a denial.
He said that his overseas holiday mentioned in the inquiry report was irrelevant and should have been excluded as it was never mentioned in the video clip recording.
“I state that the photographs of my wife and children taken during the holiday trip had nothing to do with the Royal Commission’s scope of work, but the pictures were submitted as exhibits and received wide coverage in the newspapers, television and Internet, putting them under a lot of pressure.”
“My family members who had nothing to do with the inquiry were dragged along via the photographs submitted by lawyer Ranjit Singh from the Malaysian Bar Council,” he further said in his affidavit.
Mohd Eusoff said he regretted that the inquiry, although conducted before a panel that included three former judges with wide experience, had failed to evaluate and weigh the evidence presented according to the principles of law.
“After reading the inquiry report, I found that it raised questions on the approach used in making the decision and recommendations. Overall, the report mirrors the respondents’ assumptions based on the weak evidence of witnesses whose character was questionable,” he said.