Saturday, November 03, 2007

A video is not a surat layang. It is accuser, witness and testimony

Malaysiakini reports "CJ gone, but problem remains". I agree and I'd tend to think that the Judiciary will remain screwed as long as these people are running the investigation.

There is a need to first verify the authenticity of the video clip featuring a prominent lawyer purportedly brokering the appointment of judges before there can be any investigation into the judiciary or formation of a royal commission of inquiry, said Nazri Aziz. The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said it was therefore important for those with information on the video to come forward and assist the independent panel set up by the Government to investigate if the video was genuine.

“It’d be unfortunate if the mechanism (panel) set up is not used by the people. I really hope people will come forward. Then we can have a look at the judiciary. Otherwise, we may conclude there is no case,” he added.

The three-man panel was set up by the Government three weeks ago, but up till Wednesday no one has come forward to give information to the panel. Because of the absence of testimony, the panel could only hear the findings of the Anti-Corruption Agency, which was investigating the case.

Nazri said there was nothing more the panel could do other than wait for people to come forward because it has neither the powers to compel people to appear before it nor the powers to carry out legal investigations. - The Star
Why is the investigation focused only on people coming forward to 'verify' the video's authenticity?

Perhaps I do not enjoy the lack of technical savvy or abundance of ignorance that the panel and minister possess, but why in the world do you need 'witnesses' to come forward to verify the video? Isn't simply technically examining the video for any tampering a better way to determine its authenticity? Isn't the sole and most important concern whether the video is doctored or not? That is to say it depicts genuine events that actually happened, rather than footage that was artificially generated. Furthermore, isn't the recording of the video and what the video recorded, 2 independent events that should be separately investigated?

The minister says that a video is akin to a poison pen letter or surat layang. But is that true? I certainly don't think so.
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.

From related posting: Utterly absurd that video maker's identity overshadows video's content
And we have a very recent precedent. Interpol obtained a scrambled picture of a paedophile downloaded from the internet, which they unscrambled. The unscrambled picture prompted a worldwide manhunt. Were they concerned who took the picture? Were they concerned who copied the picture file from the camera to the computer? Were they concerned who posted the picture on the internet?

NO. And that's because those people were NOT the point. The person in the photo was. The person in the photo was the one who committed a crime, and the photo was the evidence.

So, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether the Lingam video was doctored. If it was not, then the ACA has a legal and moral obligation to take action against the people in the video.

Btw, this post in Malaysian Unplugged asked a good question. Why is the panel basing the conclusion whether the video was doctored on the opinion of an unknown technology company from Cyberjaya? Who are those people? Are they beholden to anyone? Are they independent? Are they qualified? Do they even have the equipment and skills to do such an analysis?

And it goes on to ask an even better question. Didn't we send the video to HK's ICAC for analysis? Why don't they make public the results of the ICAC's analysis? Was it consistent with the results from that Cyberjaya company?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

it is like saying, "if we catch nazri sodomising his official aide on video, it is not true until the person who shot the video comes forward. " or " if we catch nazri beating the shit out of the 'son-in-law', no need to take action."

this is just bollywood. the video is not real.....

Anju Patel said...

hey filmi video. But its good. I liked it (http://www.shoppingsurat.com)