Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Utterly absurd that video maker's identity overshadows video's content

Just like in the nude squat case, the investigators ie. the govt, inDependent Panel and ACA are focusing all their efforts on finding out who made the Lingam video, rather than tackling the issues raised by the video's contents. In the meantime, the 'bodoh, bodoh, bodoh' minister has baited the opposition parties and bar council into a pointless argument over the existence of witness protection legislation and the attractiveness of face-changing plastic surgery (see Malaysiakini here, here and here, and The Sun here, here and here).

Aren't we yet again barking up the wrong tree, beating around the bush and losing sight of the forest for the trees?

Don't they realise that video evidence is NOT the same as the testimony of a witness or an anonymous poison pen letter? Witness testimonies and poison pen letters purport the personal claims of individuals to be truthful accounts of another person's wrongdoing. So it is of paramount importance to the course of justice that those individuals be properly identified and the truthfulness of their claims be proven conclusively.

With video evidence however, the video itself is accuser, witness and testimony... all in one and all at once. It is not the testimony or poison pen of the maker of the video. It is the testimony of the events that took place in the video itself. Indeed, it represents the events speaking for themselves. As long as the video is authentic, it's like being caught red handed. That's why the question of who made the video is a moot and ultimately irrelevant point. What IS of utmost importance is proving that the video itself is factually authentic and technically genuine.

Let me ask these 2 questions:

- If we identify the maker of the video and he turns out to be an upstanding and respected member of society. But the video turns out to be technically fake and factually inaccurate. Is the video still authentic and compelling evidence?

- Or, if we identity the maker of the video to be a well known liar and cheat. But the video is technically proven to be genuine and the events contained therein are factually consistent with corroborative evidence. Is the video still considered compelling evidence?

In both cases, isn't it painfully clear that it does not matter at all who the maker of the video is? Isn't it clear that what matters is whether the video is authentic and genuine, and having established that, exactly what illegal events it portrays and proves? Just because the maker of the video does not come forward, does that mean the events in the video did not happen?

Let's say a man is murdered on the street, but the police cannot find the passerby who made the 999 call... does it mean that the murder did not happen? Can the authorities conclude that the dead man is not dead and there's no murderer on the loose? Isn't that simply and utterly absurd?

Therefore, isn't it violently clear by now, that the whole focus on the video's maker is at best meaningless and at worst diversionary? What will identifying the video's maker achieve in our efforts to rehabilitate the judiciary, apart from slapping a sniper's bulleye onto that person's head?

Like I said earlier (read: Between the FBI and Panel of Unquestionable Integrity, I choose the FBI)... we should have sent the Lingam video to CSI Gil Grissom or sexy MILF CSI Catherine Willows for forensic analysis, just like we sent Nurin's video to the FBI. If we did, the case would be wrapped up by now.

1 comment:

sean-the-man said...

Call For ACA To Focus Probe On Authenticity Of Video Clip

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 (Bernama) -- Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) today advised the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) to maintain its focus on proving the authenticity of a video clip involving a lawyer talking on the handphone on the appointment of judges instead of shifting from that objective.

TI-M president Tan Sri Ramon V. Navaratnam said that as such the ACA should withdraw the notice it had given to two "messengers" who helped the person who recorded the video clip to expose it.

The ACA should focus on the investigation pertaining to the authenticity of the video clip and offences purportedly committed in the lawyer's part of the conversation which was recorded in the clip, he said in a statement.

Navaratnam said TI-M was concerned that the ACA seemed to be shifting the focus to the whistleblowers in the matter.

He said the ACA had given notice to the two messengers who helped the person who recorded the video clip, instructing them to expose the identity of the whistleblower or bear the consequences.

Navaratnam said the notice stated that failure to comply with the demand would be a breach of Section 29 (c) of the Anti Corruption Act 1997.