..While former Attorney General (the late) Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah was said to have closed the investigations into the New Zealand holiday of retired Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin and Lingam, sources said the commission wanted the matter reopened.
The panel of five felt that the fresh investigations should be conducted because the fresh allegations by Lingam’s brother and former secretary constituted dreadful allegations against Eusoff and a few other judges, said sources.
Sources said public confidence in the judiciary and the integrity of the Anti-Corruption Agency would be affected if no action were taken.
Sources said the commission found that there were plausible evidence that Lingam, with the help of his close friends, business tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan and former Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, influenced the appointment of judges, in particular recently retired Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.
This, sources claimed, also meant that the then Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin’s recommendation to then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed that Federal Court judge (the late) Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad be appointed Chief Judge of Malaya had been undermined.
Sources said the commission was also not convinced by the denials of Dr Mahathir, Tengku Adnan and Tan when they testified before the enquiry.
Relying on Section 16 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act, sources said the commission called on the Attorney-General to investigate the issues they had raised.
This section of the law gives the commission the power to order the public prosecutor to carry out investigations into their findings.
The commission found that Tengku Adnan’s explanation that many people used his name was unacceptable given his friendship with Lingam and the fact that he was also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs .
They found that other parties had the opportunity to character assassinate Abdul Malek because Dr Mahathir did not consult Dzaiddin over the appointment.
Dr Mahathir had testified that he rejected Abdul Malek not because he was anti-PM but some other reason he was not obliged to reveal.
Sources said another point the commission stressed on the appointment process of judges was the lack of consultation which they said was required under the Federal Constitution.
They said the commission noted that Dr Mahathir and Tengku Adnan took an oath of office as members of the administration and this required them to uphold the constitution that laid out the process in the appointment of judges.
Sources said the commission found this was not done because the executive had not complied with the mandatory consultation in appointing judges.
However, the commission was unsure whether these failures to uphold the constitution were punishable.