Lawyer banned over ‘fixing judges’ phone call appeals to return to practice

VK Lingam made headlines in 2007 after a leaked video showing him fixing judicial appointments in a phone call with a senior judge.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Nov 5 to hear an appeal by former lawyer VK Lingam to return to practice after he was barred for fixing judicial appointments.

Lawyer R Thayalan said the date was agreed upon today following case management before deputy registrar Nik Serene Nik Hashim.

“A new date was decided after an earlier scheduled appeal hearing on March 10 was vacated when a judge disqualified herself,” he told FMT.

On May 22, 2018, then High Court judge Kamaludin Md Said dismissed Lingam’s appeal against a 2015 decision by the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board to strike off his name from the roll.

Lingam was implicated in a judicial fixing scandal by a 2007 royal commission of inquiry (RCI), following the release of a widely circulated video clip featuring him purportedly discussing promotions and factionalism among senior judges with then chief justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

The RCI panel had recommended that action for misconduct be taken against him, Ahmad Fairuz, former chief justice Eusoff Chin, tycoon Vincent Tan, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

The board had earlier affirmed a committee’s decision in finding Lingam guilty of involvement in judicial fixing, and barred him from practising law.

In his appeal, Lingam claimed the video evidence used against him during the inquiry was not authentic and might have been taken out of context.

Lingam has been out of Malaysia for more than eight years and is currently believed to be in the United States.

In 2017, he was sentenced to jail six months in absentia by the Federal Court for contempt, for claiming that a Federal Court bench had plagiarised its written grounds in delivering judgment on a civil case eight years earlier.

In that case, another lawyer, TC Nayagam, and 24 family members and directors of Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd pleaded guilty to showing disrespect to the court and were fined a total of RM2.15 million.

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