Bring it on, Shafee says on AG’s contempt bid

Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today questioned the bid by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to begin contempt proceedings against him over statements allegedly undermining the administration of justice.

He said he had only been responding to questions by the media on the chances of winning Najib Razak’s cases.

Shafee, who is representing the former prime minister, was caught on video on Feb 7 saying: “But we think our case is very good, okay? If you leave the judge alone, (and) do not influence the judge, if the judge is straight, if witnesses are not coached and evidence is not fabricated, we should win.”

Speaking to reporters outside the High Court here, Shafee said it was “laughable”.

“How can that be contemptuous?” he added.

This was after the court allowed the attorney-general to begin contempt proceedings against Shafee on grounds that there existed a prima facie case.

The lawyer said he was looking forward to the papers being served on him, adding that he would challenge the contempt case.

“He (the attorney-general) was the one who first said that everyone has freedom of speech when Najib was first taken to court.

“Why is he misbehaving like this now?” he said, referring to Thomas’ argument to reject Najib’s application for a gag order in his SRC International case.

He also maintained that he had never shown disrespect to the courts.

“In fact, I openly said to the SRC trial judge (Nazlan Ghazali) that he would be fair in hearing the case.

“I want to see how independent and free this New Malaysia is,” he added.

This is the second contempt proceeding by the attorney-general this week.

Thomas was earlier given the green light to begin contempt proceedings against lawyer Arun Kasi for allegedly criticising the proceedings and decision of an apex court bench last year.