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Malaysia ex-chief justice says corruption video fabricated

[JURIST] Former Malaysian Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim [Wikipedia profile] told a Royal Commission inquiry panel Monday that a December 2001 video [YouTube video] that appears to show prominent Malaysian lawyer VK Lingam brokering Halim's appointment to become chief justice is a fabrication. Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who released the first part of the video [JURIST report] in September, asserts that Halim is the voice on the other end of the line with Lingam in the first part of the video. On Monday, Halim denied that claim, suggesting that Lingam might have been trying to impress his friends by pretending to know the high-ranking politicians involved in the now-scandal. On the tape [PDF transcript], Lingam says he is working hard to get Halim appointed to the second highest judiciary position in Malaysia, the presidency of the court of appeal; Halim received that post soon thereafter prior to becoming the chief justice of the Malaysian Supreme Court from 2003 to 2007.

The video's release prompted 2,000 lawyers and activists to protest judicial corruption [JURIST report; press release], calling for an official investigation. The Royal Commission began its sessions last week, when Lingam told the panel that he was intoxicated [JURIST report] when the video was filmed. Lingam also told the panel that Halim was not on the other end of the line [Bernama report] in the first video. On Monday, Anwar released the third part of the video [JURIST report], which allegedly shows Lingam admitting to having bribed former Chief Justice Dzaiddin Abdullah. AFP has more.

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