Lokman fails to set aside AG’s move to cite him for contempt

The attorney-general is initiating committal proceedings against Lokman Nor Adam for allegedly threatening a witness in the on-going 1MDB trial.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed an application by Lokman Nor Adam to set aside leave obtained by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to cite the Umno Supreme Council member for contempt of court.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said the attorney-general’s affidavit to explain why Lokman should be cited for showing disrespect to the court was not ambiguous.

“The AG’s statement in the affidavit to the respondent was clear,” he said.

Sequerah also ruled that outside parties apart from the court could also issue show cause to a person for alleged contempt.

On Oct 22, Sequerah allowed Thomas to initiate committal proceedings against Lokman for allegedly threatening witness Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin in the on-going 1MDB trial.

The judge also refused Lokman a stay of proceedings pending appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented Lokman, said he would file a certificate of urgency for the Court of Appeal to hear the appeal.

Sequerah has fixed March 13 to hear the contempt proceeding.

Last week, ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram submitted that Lokman’s comments about Amhari were not only tantamount to threatening the witness or other potential witnesses, but also an act of undermining the administration of justice

He said the attorney-general and the prosecution were entitled to make the application to initiate contempt proceedings against Lokman as they were acting in defence of the court.

Shafee had submitted that only the court could issue the notice to cite Lokman for contempt and not the prosecution.

“The notice given by the prosecution should be considered defective as it is not the court who initiated this,” he said.

Shafee added that the prosecution had failed to specify the particulars which the prosecution found contemptuous in Lokman’s police report and video.

Lokman lodged a police report challenging Amhari’s credibility as a witness following the latter’s admission on the witness stand that he had received a US$200,000 loan from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.

The prosecution said Lokman also gave a video interview where he allegedly attacked the integrity of the attorney-general.