PUTRAJAYA, – Former UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam lost his final appeal to set aside the leave obtained by the Attorney General (AG) to commence committal proceedings against him for allegedly intimidating a witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
The Federal Court’s five-member bench led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed Lokman’s appeal, ruling that the notice to show cause was issued to Lokman and therefore the court found that there was compliance by the respondent (public prosecutor) with Order 52 Rule 2B of the Rules of Court 2012.
She said the notice to show cause need not be issued by the court but by any party who moved the court for the contempt proceedings.
She said the statement and affidavit-in-support by the respondent were sufficient to inform Lokman of the alleged contempt that he needed to answer.
“Looking at the statement and the affidavit in support as a whole, we do not find that any prejudice has occasion to the appellant (Lokman),” Justice Tengku Maimun said.
Justice Tengku Maimun who presided with Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof and Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim heard Lokman’s appeal via Zoom video-conferencing.
Following today’s decision, Lokman has to answer to the contempt charges in the High Court.
The case has been set for mention before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Jan 27.
Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas obtained leave from the High Court in 2019 to initiate contempt proceedings against Lokman, claiming that Lokman had uttered words in a video interview on Sept 25 the same year, which constituted an express or implied threat against Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin for having given evidence in Najib’s trial at the High Court.
Thomas said that on the same day, Lokman lodged a police report against Amhari Efendi, who was the eighth prosecution witness, in respect of the evidence given by him at Najib’s trial.
The object or purpose of Lokman’s act, said the AG, was to harass and intimidate Amhari Efendi, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who may come forward to give evidence against Najib in the 1MDB trial.
Thomas filed the committal proceeding against Lokman, seeking an order for him (Lokman) to be committed to prison or be fined for his action.
On January 14, 2020, the High Court dismissed Lokman’s application to set aside the AG’s ex-parte order for leave to commence committal proceedings. Lokman also lost his appeal in the Court of Appeal which was dismissed in May last year.
In today’s proceedings, Lokman’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that the notice to show cause issued against his client was defective.
Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram argued that the charges Lokman is facing were intimidation of witnesses and interference of the administration of justice which was a serious contempt of the court.