Again, Umno man loses bid to set aside contempt order on 1MDB trial

Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam.

PUTRAJAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam today failed again in his bid to set aside the leave obtained by the attorney-general to cite him for contempt of court in relation to former prime minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Yaacob Md Sam said there was no appealable error by the High Court judge in allowing the ex-parte application warranting the intervention of the court.

“We are of the view that, although not in detail, sufficient notice to show cause was given with explanation.

“As such, we dismiss the appeal,” he said.

He was joined on the bench by Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented Lokman, told the judges that his client would appeal today’s ruling at the Federal Court.

He also asked the bench to provide its written judgment as soon as possible for this purpose.

The attorney-general was represented by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar.

On Jan 14, High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said the attorney-general’s affidavit explaining why Lokman should be cited for showing disrespect to the court was not ambiguous.

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

On Oct 22 last year, Sequerah allowed then attorney-general Tommy Thomas to initiate committal proceedings against Lokman for allegedly threatening witness Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin in the 1MDB trial.

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 submitted that Lokman’s comments about Amhari were not only tantamount to threatening the witness or other potential witnesses, but also undermined the administration of justice.

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

Najib’s trial is scheduled to resume on May 19.

The former prime minister faces four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.

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