Shafee was ‘complaining’ about prosecution team, not judge, lawyer tells court

Lawyer Shafee Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Shafee Abdullah’s legal team told the High Court here that he was merely “complaining” about the conduct of the prosecution team in Najib Razak’s SRC International’s case.

David Mathews, representing lawyer Shafee in his contempt case, said Shafee was not casting negative aspersions on SRC International’s trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

“By leaving out that part of the complaint in the attorney-general’s contempt application to cite him (Shafee) for contempt, they are not presenting the full context.

“The word he used was ‘if’, showing he was expressing his opinion on him winning SRC’s case,” he said during the hearing to set aside the court’s order for AG Tommy Thomas to initiate contempt proceedings.

The bid to cite Shafee for contempt was filed after the lawyer made media comments on former prime minister Najib Razak’s case. Shafee is Najib’s lawyer.

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.

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

Mathews insisted that the SRC International trial judge (Nazlan) should be hearing the contempt case as the words, claimed by AG, were directed at him.

To that, High Court judge Firuz Jaffril asked the lawyer whether Mathews was trying to say Nazlan should recuse himself from SRC International’s case.

Mathews said he did not want to speculate on the judge‘s (Nazlan) decision on the SRC case.

Firuz set July 24 for a decision on whether Shafee can set aside the court order to let the AG start the contempt proceedings.