Jan 17, 2008

Lingam-gate : Tun Mahathir on the stand

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V. K. Lingam videoclip controversy that he could not remember why he dropped two lawyers' names from the list for appointment as High Court judges in late 2001.

(Malaysiakini) Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad this morning took the witness stand at the royal commission of inquiry tasked to investigate the VK Lingam tape.

He is the ninth witness to appear before the commission on the fourth day of the inquiry. This is the first time that Mahathir is to account in court for his actions while in power.

Mahathir told the commission this morning that while he obtain opinions from other people on judicial appointments - whether solicited or unsolicited - he made the final decision.

He is also expected to be questioned on the appointments of Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as the Chief Judge of Malaya and then subsequently as the Chief Justice. Mahathir would also be asked to justify the appointment on several other judges to the High Court.

Yesterday correspondence between Mahathir and the then Chief Justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah were tendered as evidence to the commission.

One of the letters showed that Mahathir had rejected two names forwarded by Mohamed Dzaiddin - Andrew Chew and Zainudin Ismail - and replaced them with others.

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