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Thursday June 15, 2006

Cherie appears in court

PUTRAJAYA: Queen’s Counsel Cherie Blair made a surprise appearance at the Federal Court’s hearing for Fawziah Holdings’ appeal over her representing the company in the Metramac case here yesterday. 

Even her client Datuk Fawziah Abdul Karim admitted to having been caught by surprise by Blair’s presence.  

“I didn’t know she was coming today,” she told reporters when the court broke for lunch. 

Blair, who was driven to the Palace of Justice in a black BMW bearing the crest of the Prime Minister’s Department, arrived at the courthouse at 8.40am, before the hearing began. 

She was escorted by both the security detail from Britain and local Special Branch personnel through the basement entrance straight into the courtroom. 

VIP TREATMENT: Blair seated in a black BMW bearing the Prime Minister’s Department crest on her way to the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya yesterday.
Policemen and staff of the bomb unit were also despatched to stand guard at the courthouse. 

Blair, who had had her application to appear before the Federal Court disallowed last week, proceeded to sit at the counsel’s bench but was advised to take a seat in the public gallery. 

TIGHT SECURITY: Blair surrounded by security personnel as she leaves the Federal Court in Putrajaya yesterday. — AFPpic
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was also present in the Palace of Justice to attend an appeal case, came in at around 9.40am to greet and chat with her. 

Blair, sporting a navy blue suit and carrying an armload of files, sat through the proceedings, taking down notes. 

Blair deftly evaded reporters waiting for her by leaving through a side entrance. 

It was believed that the Queen’s Counsel, who goes by her professional name Cherie Booth, had flown in on Tuesday night and was to have left last night. 

Fawziah Holdings counsel Datuk Dr Cyrus Das said Blair’s presence at the courtroom was expected. 

“We have asked for Blair to be allowed to appear in the Federal Court so she, as the Queen’s Counsel, must be available today for the decision. This is to show that she’s available to come to Malaysia for this case,” he said.  

Last Wednesday, the High Court held that Blair had not shown she had special qualifications to appear in Malaysia as required under Section 18(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Act 1976.  

The hearing of the appeal continues today.  


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