Declaring medical report forged is unjust, says V K Lingam

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PETALING JAYA: Former lawyer VK Lingam, who must be present to answer his contempt charge in November, says the Federal Court is being unfair by doubting his medical report.

He said the apex court’s decision was made in his absence and without according him any opportunity to defend himself.

Moreover, Lingam said, the doctor who examined and issued the report in the United States was never contacted for verification.

“The decision is in fundamental breach of the basic and elementary rules of natural justice,” he said in a statement via email from the US.

FMT also spoke to Lingam to determine the authenticity of the statement.

A five-man bench chaired by Suryadi Halim Omar today declared the May 10 report was forged.

Lingam said the offence of forgery under the Malaysian Penal Code must be proven beyond reasonable doubt and this was not satisfied in this case.

He also denied that the report was forged.

“This is an unfounded and baseless decision and is an affront to justice,” he added.

Lingam, who was implicated in a judicial fixing by a royal commission of inquiry in 2007, said he would be filing an application to review and set aside the Federal Court decision.

Suryadi said the trial on Nov 8 would proceed even without the attendance of Lingam, who has been absent from proceedings since 2013.

Lawyer R Thayalan, who appeared for Lingam, also discharged himself as he did not want to act in the absence of his client.

Suriyadi said the court had also made a finding of fact that Lingam’s report from a US hospital was forged.

Thayalan had earlier submitted the report as instructed by the court.

The lawyer said Lingam was unfit to travel long distance as he was suffering from a hip fracture and back pain.

Government lawyer Amarjeet Singh informed the court that a search with the Immigration Department today showed Lingam had renewed his passport in London on June 14 this year.

Amarjeet said Lingam left Malaysia on Dec 23, 2013 and there was no record of him returning.

Suryadi said it could also mean that Lingam was always in London and not in the United States.

Lingam appeared for former Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd (KJCF) group managing director See Teow Chuan and 23 others, who were the majority and minority contributories of Kian Joo Holdings Sdn Bhd (KJH) in 2009.

The 24 turned to the High Court after a rival company, Can-One International Sdn Bhd, won the tender to purchase a 32.9% stake in KJCF, but failed to stop the party from acquiring the shares.

However, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision.

The case was then taken to the Federal Court, where a three-member panel of judges ruled in favour of KJH liquidators Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck in 2012.

The 24 then filed a review, citing plagiarism in the court’s written judgment.

However, it was dismissed by the Federal Court on grounds that the judgment did not blindly adopt the submissions of the liquidators’ counsel but only used 70 of the 189 paragraphs.

Lingam, another lawyer TC Nayagam and the 24 were charged with contempt for claiming that the apex court bench had plagiarised its judgment.

The contempt proceedings have been adjourned numerous times, particularly because of the absence of Lingam.

In the meantime, in 2015, the government took over contempt proceedings from the KJH liquidators, who had withdrawn the contempt charges against Lingam and the rest.

All 24 pleaded guilty to the charge and each was fined RM100,000.

Lawyer TC Nayagam, who represented some of the 24 people in filing the review, was also slapped with a RM150,000 fine.