Nazri also suggested that Lingam breached no laws as he might “have just acted to fix the appointment of judges as if he was brokering the appointment of senior judges to impress people”.
“I am not denying that it was Lingam in the tape. But I am also saying that there are a lot of conmen in this world. Who knows he might have just acted when he was calling the so-called judges to impress,” said Nazri in his ministerial winding-up speech on the 2010 Budget debate.
Nazri argued that from the legal perspective Lingam could have merely made a suggestion as to who should be appointed to senior posts in the judiciary.
"I am here to stress that there is nothing to stop the prime minister from receiving suggestions from any parties. Should anyone act to advise the prime minister on the appointment of judges, this act itself cannot be taken as an offence.
"Unless it's clear that the action (by Lingam) was clearly aimed at conspiring to subvert the judiciary or made to get favours... (but) the findings of the commission found none of this," said the minister.
Opposition MPs had during the debate session demanded answers as to why the Attorney-General had decided to take “no further action” towards Lingam despite the findings of a royal commission set up to probe the infamous “correct, correct, correct” video recording that allegedly saw the senior lawyer brokering the appointment of judges.
The royal commission had proposed that action be taken against Lingam and several others purportedly involved in the recording including former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, a close friend of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Nazri revealed that investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the figures named also found no conclusive evidence that there was any form of power abuse by any of them.
His remarks invited scathing criticism from the opposition benches.
Shah Alam PAS MP Khalid Samad blasted Nazri's reply as ridiculous, calling it clear proof that the government was half-hearted in its efforts to reform the judiciary.
Khalid's assault, however, was deflected cynically by Nazri who merely called the Shah Alam MP "deaf".
"I told you not to put the receiver close to your ears when you use your mobile phone, you become deaf," he said, claiming Khalid had missed his earlier statement that the government had taken action to reform the judiciary.
"But it will take time before results can be seen," he added.
Bukit Gelugor DAP MP Karpal Singh said what had transpired in the recording was tantamount to sedition as it had brought the country's judiciary into disrepute and Lingam, he suggested, could be charged under the Sedition Act.
The minister, in his reply, said the commission had also suggested the same and that he welcomed the proposal made by Karpal but did not state if the government planned to adopt the proposal.
Nazri's remarks today have added to the confusion surrounding the Lingam controversy.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said on Oct 29 that the case was still under investigation by MACC.
“The investigation in relation to V.K. Lingam’s video case is still under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police are no longer handling the case,” he said in a written reply to Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong.
But Nazri had, in a written reply to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a week before Hishammuddin's statement, said that no action would be taken against Lingam.
He had said Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail had found “no case” against the senior lawyer.
Nazri had explained that he never said that the case was closed and blamed the media for misinterpreting his words.
[Source : MI]
Geronimo's Take : Wah, if Lingam is so good in acting, as claimed by Nazri, then Lingam is in the wrong profession. He should be in Bollywood earning his keeps other than being a KPC [kay poh chee] trying to be a "judiciary fixer". If Nazri can call Khalid Samad "deaf", then he himself must be "blind" as it was so clear on the video that it looks like Lingam, sounds like Lingam and yes, it was definitely Lingam. Nazri can spin all he wants to prove the innocence of Lingam but the court of public opinion thinks otherwise.