KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah intends to file an application to set aside contempt proceedings against him for allegedly undermining the administration of justice.
However, his lawyer David Mathews asked for more time to file the application as he is on medical leave.
“Even today, I am on medical leave but attending court,” he told judge Mohd Firuz Jaffril.
The lawyer, who has been certified unfit by a private doctor, is on leave from March 15 to 28.
Shafee was not in court today as he has been given permission to travel to Sydney, Australia, for an official engagement.
Federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan raised no objection to the defence’s request for more time to file the application.
Firuz then ordered Shafee to file his application by April 15, adding that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) should reply by April 29.
He set May 23 for hearing of the application.
On March 1, Firuz gave the AGC permission to frame charges against Shafee on grounds that there exists a prima facie case for contempt.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had sought to initiate contempt proceedings on grounds that he, as the guardian of public interest, is tasked with protecting the integrity and administration of justice.
“As attorney-general, I have the duty to take appropriate action against any acts that are contemptuous to the courts,” Thomas said in his motion.
Shafee was alleged to have made the comments in question outside the High Court after Najib Razak’s SRC International case mention on Feb 7.
He reportedly said that Najib’s defence team could win if the judge was left alone and not influenced.
He allegedly added that victory was possible “if the judge is straight, if witnesses are not coached, and if evidence is not fabricated”.