Lingam gets six months jail for con­tempt of court

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

PU­TRA­JAYA: The Fed­eral Court yes­ter­day sen­tenced for­mer lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam to six months jail af­ter find­ing him guilty of con­tempt of court for ac­cus­ing a fed­eral court judge of pla­gia­rism in a writ­ten judg­ment.

Jus­tice Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin who led a five-man bench de­liv­ered the unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in Lingam’s ab­sence.

The judge also is­sued a war­rant of com­mit­tal against Lingam, 66, who had been ab­sent through­out the pro­ceed­ings since 2013.

“We are of the view it is a fit case for a cus­to­dial sen­tence. We sen­tence the re­spon­dent to six months jail with ef­fect from the date of ex­e­cu­tion of the war­rant of com­mit­tal,” he said.

Abu Samah said Lingam’s case had been post­poned sev­eral times since leave for con­tempt was is­sued against him on April 3, 2013 and the court had also de­clined his re­quest for an ad­journ­ment.

The panel which also com­prised Tan Sri Ramly Ali, Tan Sri Aza­har Mo­hamed, Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi and Tan Sri Jef­frey Tan Kok Wha ear­lier noted se­nior fed­eral coun­sel Alice Loke Yee Ching’s sub­mis­sion that the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral had con­sented to let the court con­tinue with the con­tempt pro­ceed­ings in Lingam’s ab­sence.

Loke had submitted that Lingam did not make any at­tempt to file his de­fence or ten­der any apol­ogy ex­cept to re­quest for the mat­ter to be ad­journed in­def­i­nitely to say he was un­well and pro­duced a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate.

‘We have ev­i­dence that he trav­elled from Cal­i­for­nia to London and this was in June this year. Cal­i­for­nia to London is quite a dis­tance. It is about eleven and half hours,” she said.

The SFC fur­ther submitted that Lingam was aware of what had tran­spired in court on Sept 26, this year as he had sub­se­quently filed a re­view ap­pli­ca­tion yet made no at­tempt to ap­pear or en­gage a coun­sel.

She also said Lingam’s al­le­ga­tion of bias, in­com­pe­tence and im­par­tial­ity of the ju­di­ciary was very grave, could un­der­mine pub­lic con­fi­dence in the ju­di­ciary and amounted to scan­dal­is­ing the court.

On Sept 26 this year, the Fed­eral Court or­dered Lingam to be present in court to an­swer the con­tempt charge.

The fed­eral court had ear­lier noted that a med­i­cal re­port dated May 10, this year stated that Lingam was un­fit for long pe­riod of travel as he suf­fered hip frac­ture and back pain; how­ever it found that the med­i­cal re­port ob­tained from a hos­pi­tal in United States was forged.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, an­other Fed­eral Court five-man bench led by Chief Jus­tice Tun Md Raus Sharif struck out Lingam’s re­view ap­pli­ca­tion.

Lingam, for­mer Kian Joo Can Fac­tory Bhd (KJCF) group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk See Teow Chuan and 23 oth­ers were cited for con­tempt of court four years ago, for claim­ing that a Fed­eral Court judge had pla­gia­rised his judg­ment in a com­mer­cial case re­lated to KJCF.

On Aug 23, 2013, Lingam and 24 oth­ers failed to set aside their con­tempt charge when the court ruled that there was a prima fa­cie case against them.

On Aug 7, 2014, the Fed­eral Court al­lowed the at­tor­neygen­eral to take over the con­tempt pro­ceed­ings from the orig­i­nal ap­pli­cants, Kian Joo Hold­ings Sdn Bhd (KJH) liq­uida­tors Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck who with­drew the charges.

In Novem­ber last year, the Fed­eral Court im­posed a fine to­talling RM2.15 mil­lion on an­other lawyer and 12 ma­jor­ity and eight mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers of a com­pany for con­tempt of court.

Two other mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers of KJFC were fined RM100,000 each for con­tempt on Sept 26 this year. - Ber­nama


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