In the Report, which was published exclusively on Easter Sunday by the Sunday Newsday and is due to be tabled in the Senate today, Uff notes that conflicting evidence was submitted to him at his inquiry on the issue of whether or not Hart had family links to a Malaysian company awarded a $368 million contract for the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower.
Uff notes that, in a first statement, Hart said, “I take this opportunity to categorically refute and condemn as false and mischievous any allegations that I have any family connections with Sunway or CH Development & Construction Ltd.” In a second statement, Hart further stated: “For my part, I reassert that neither I nor any member of my family has or ever had any shares or interest in Sunway or in any of its subsidiary companies.”
However, Uff notes, Khan came forward, deposing that two men once listed as Sunway directors, Lee Hup Ming and Ng Chin Poh, were related to Mrs Sherrine Hart. “Counsel for Mr Calder Hart did not take the opportunity to cross-examine Mr Khan when this was offered,” Uff observes.
“The testimony of Mr Khan is directly in contrast to the evidence of Mr Calder Hart.”.
“The Commissioners take the view that it is inappropriate for them to decide which evidence is to be preferred because the inquiry is not a court of law. The consequence of such a decision is that one of the two witnesses is likely to have committed the criminal offence of perjury,” Uff finds
Police, including officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau, have already begun an investigation into Hart.
Uff rejected arguments made by Hart’s lawyer Devesh Maharaj and Frank Solomon SC that Khan had attempted to bring Mrs Hart’s reputation “into disrepute”.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that Mr Khan was motivated by anything other than a desire to place the true facts before the Commission. If Mr Khan had any motive beyond that of stating what he believed to be the truth, it was not to bring Mr Hart’s wife into disrepute; it is the conduct of Mr Hart that is in issue here,” Uff finds.