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Lawyer: AG can extradite Lingam to serve jail term

 | November 15, 2017

However, Lingam could file a legal challenge in country he is detained in to resist any extradition request, says SN Nair.


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian government can apply to extradite former lawyer VK Lingam, 66, to serve his six-month jail term for contempt of court, a lawyer said.

SN Nair said Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali could apply to the country where Lingam was currently residing in to bring him back under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Treaty.

“This will be an easier way to conduct the extradition process,” he told FMT following a Federal Court order yesterday that the sentence begin from the date the warrant of committal is enforced.

Nair, who was a former police officer and who is familiar with extradition procedures, said Lingam may be extradited even if he was in a country where Malaysia did not have a treaty.

“But without an MLA treaty, it will be a tedious and convoluted process,” he added.

For a start, Nair said the AG has to direct the Malaysian Interpol to issue a red notice to its counterparts to arrest Lingam.

“Interpol will inform Malaysia once he is apprehended and it is for the AG to commence extradition proceedings,” he said.

Nair, however, said Lingam could file a legal challenge in the country he was detained in to resist any extradition request.

FMT has contacted Apandi via WhatsApp and is awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, Nair said once the warrant of committal had been sealed by the court, Lingam would be deemed technically a fugitive if he did not appear in Malaysia.

“Contempt of court is a quasi-criminal action,” he said in reference to Lingam’s absence from attending the court proceedings.

Lingam, who was implicated in a judicial fixing case by a royal commission of inquiry in 2007, was found guilty of citing plagiarism in a Federal Court judgment five years ago.

A five-man apex court bench, chaired by Abu Samah Nordin, said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“We have scrutinised the court papers and he is guilty of contempt of court,” Abu Samah said.

Lingam, who is also disbarred from practice for professional misconduct, is currently believed to be in the United States of America.

Government lawyer Alice Loke Yee Ching, who pressed for a deterrent sentence, said the contempt proceedings started in 2012 and Lingam had left the country the following year.

She said Lingam made allegations of bias and incompetence of a bench which undermined public confidence in the judiciary.

She urged the court to impose a custodial sentence as Lingam did not offer any apology, except to ask for an adjournment of his case.

In September, the court had made a finding of fact that Lingam’s medical report from a United States hospital was forged, but the former lawyer claimed the remark by the bench was unfair.

The contempt case came about when Lingam had appeared for clients, consisting of family members, in a civil suit.

Following a Federal Court decision in 2012 that went against his clients, Lingam filed a review of that ruling on grounds that the judgment was plagiarised.

The 24 family members were each fined RM100,000 while another lawyer, TC Nayagam, was fined RM150,000 after they pleaded guilty to the charge.

V K Lingam jailed 6 months for contempt of court

VK Lingam ordered to be present to face contempt charge

Declaring medical report forged is unjust, says V K Lingam

Lawyer among 21 fined RM2m for disrespecting Federal Court

Contempt trial to start even if Lingam, 24 others absent


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