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Karpal continues going after CJ Zaki - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

The opposition plans to file a motion to urge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to refer newly-appointed Chief Justice Zaki Azmi to a tribunal appointed by the king for allegedly 'lying' in clarifying his involvement in corrupt practices.


A notice on the motion was filed by DAP stalwart Karpal Singh with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's office today.

This was endorsed by 56 Pakatan Rakyat and one Independent parliamentarians, fulfilling the one-fourth requirement.

karpal singh 201108Karpal (Bukit Gelugor) had given Zaki seven days, starting Nov 18, to step down for 'lying' when clarifying a report which appeared in the New Straits Times. The deadline expired yesterday.

In the news report, the chief justice had recounted his experience of bribing court employees during his days as a practising lawyer.

"It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every individual to get back into their good books before our files were attended to.

"That was my personal experience and I am telling this to all the clerks and all the registries to stop this nonsense," he was quoted as saying when delivering a speech at a convention in Kuching.

Zaki issued a clarification later, saying the reporter had misinterpreted him.

Audio recording

Speaking to reporters later, Karpal said: "I gave the chief justice until yesterday to step down but there is no indication he has done so (and) we have no alternative but to take it further.”

"This (planned) motion is to discuss his conduct or rather misconduct in having stated in Kuching and something which he clarified later but in fact is a long way from the truth and we saying that he has brought the entire judiciary into disrepute.

"We call upon the prime minister to invoke the provisions of Article 125(3) of the Federal Constitution... (to refer) Zaki to a tribunal appointed by the King... to remove Zaki from office as chief justice on grounds of serious misconduct in having publicly lied and pending any report by the tribunal... (that) Zaki be suspended forthwith as chief justice," he added.

Last week, Karpal mentioned that he had an audio recording which could prove Zaki had 'lied'.

Quizzed on this today, he said: "I have always said there is recording and I won't go further than that."

zaki azmi chief justice installation event 291008 03"(Since) there has been no denial by the chief justice, whatever I said must be accepted as the truth... don't have to (reveal) the recording because what I said has not been contradicted," he added.

Karpal said he had filed the notice under Standing order 36(8) and Article 127, not with regards to Zaki's conduct as a lawyer in 1987 but for having 'lied' in the clarification to the news report.

"Therefore, the lie is the subject-matter of the misconduct, by lying he has brought the judiciary disrepute and this comes under the code of conduct of judges," he said.

Speaker cannot reject it

Two weeks ago, Karpal had tried to initiate an emergency motion twice on the matter but this was rejected by the speaker as Standing Order 36(8) and Article 127 prohibit the discussion of the conduct of any judges in Parliament unless the motion is moved by one-fourth of the MPs in the Dewan.

Asked if the speaker could reject the motion once again, Karpal said: "He has to accept this notice and it has to be on paper."

"He can't reject it, it is a substantive motion under 127 with one-fourth agreement.

"As the 14-day notice is given and parliament sits on Dec 18 so it is well within the 14 days... we will insist on this being discussed even after government business... the chief justice must clear his name.

"This is a very exceptional and historical motion, it must be discussed as it is against the third arm of the government... it won't reflect well on the speaker if he won't allow the motion... there is nothing to fear, we are prepared to debate and justify," he added -