Karpal plays Zaki bribery tape, calls for resignation

By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — DAP’s member of parliament for Gelugor, Karpal Singh today played an audio recording that he claims to be of Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi admitting he had engaged in bribery.

The recording is claimed to have been made when Zaki was in Kuching last November. Karpal had alluded to the audio recording since November last year and finally played the tape for reporters in the lobby of the parliament building today.

According to a report in the New Straits Times (NST) that appeared on November 8 2008, Zaki was reported to have said in Kuching: “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. I am telling this to all the clerks and all the registries to stop this nonsense.”

The cassette tape recording played for reporters was not very clear but in general appeared to be consistent with the words contained in the NST report.

On the same day that the NST story was published, Zaki issued a clarification that said: “Your reporter must have interpreted what I said which is during that period there was corruption in order to get things done at the court registry, as I myself having done it. I have never in my life bribed or received any bribe.”

Karpal called the clarification a lie and inconsistent with the audio recording.

He also complained that the police have not taken any action on a police report that he lodged. “Within 2 days of police reports made against me, the police came looking for me. Why the double standards?”

Karpal called on the police to take his statement so that he can submit the audio tape as evidence.

“This tape is solid evidence,” Karpal said. “He (Zaki) has become an embarrassment to the judiciary. I would prefer if he voluntarily resigns. If he fails to do so, the Conference of Rulers should withdraw their consent for him to be made the chief justice.”

Karpal declined to reveal the source who provided the tape recording.

The DAP chairman also questioned Zaki’s appointment as head of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). “A man who is corrupted will decide on who will be a judge,” he said. “I challenge the chief justice to deny what I said.”

On a separate topic, Karpal says that he has not been isolated by his party. “DAP is solidly behind me,” he said. “We had a meeting on Monday (two days ago) and there is no doubt. I have not been isolated.”

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