Case is clear, lawyer Shafee has to answer contempt charges, court told

Lawyer Shafee Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Shafee Abdullah has a clear case to answer regarding contempt charges over his statements that undermined the administration of justice, the High Court heard today.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke submitted that arguments put forth by Shafee did not diminish the case against him, clearly laid out by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

“The crux of his statement scandalised the courts and was an attempt to undermine public confidence in the judiciary.

“To set aside our leave application to initiate contempt proceedings, he has complained that the details in our application are vague. This argument does not diminish our case against him,” she told judge Firuz Jaffril.

Shafee is seeking to set aside the High Court’s order on March 1 allowing AG Tommy Thomas to start contempt proceedings, after the court was satisfied there was a prima facie case.

The bid to cite him for contempt was filed after Shafee made media comments following mention of Najib Razak’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case. Shafee is Najib’s lawyer.

Shafee had allegedly said that victory for Najib was possible “if the judge is straight, if witnesses are not coached, and if evidence is not fabricated”.

The AG wants to initiate contempt proceedings on grounds that he, as the guardian of public interest, has been tasked with protecting the integrity and administration of justice.

Loke also said the argument by Shafee’s legal team that the government had filed the contempt proceedings in the wrong court did not hold water.

“Any High Court in Malaya can hear any contempt proceeding. It does not have to be before the trial judge,” she said, referring to Justice Nazlan Ghazali, who is hearing Najib’s SRC International case.

The hearing to stop the contempt proceedings will continue on June 21 when lawyer David Mathews will offer arguments to rebut Loke.