Contempt suit against Lokman can proceed, Federal Court rules

PUTRAJAYA: Former Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Nor Adam (pic) will have to proceed with a hearing proper in contempt proceedings against him, having failed to set aside leave obtained by the Attorney General in the case.

A five-member Federal Court bench chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed his appeal during an online hearing via Zoom yesterday.

The proceedings were initiated against Lokman by then AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas for allegedly threatening a key prosecution witness, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1MDB case.

In a unanimous decision, Tengku Maimun said there was no reason to disturb the findings from the courts below.

The appellant had claimed that the cause papers for the contempt application were inadequate and defective.

On this, the court ruled that the papers were sufficient to inform him of the contempt allegations that he needed to answer and respond to.

“We do not find any prejudice occasioned to the appellant. Appeal is dismissed, ” Tengku Maimun said.

The other judges were Justices Vernon Ong, Zaleha Yusof, Abdul Rahman Sebli and Hasnah Mohammed Hashim.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam, who appeared for the AG’s Chambers, said this would mean the proceedings at the High Court would proceed with a hearing of the merits of the contempt application.

“The case has been set for mention on Jan 27 before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, ” he said.

On Jan 14 last year, the High Court dismissed Lokman’s application to set aside the leave to initiate committal proceedings against him which was obtained by Thomas on Oct 22,2019.

Lokman appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal but it was dismissed on May 13 last year. On May 18 last year, he filed for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

In the application to initiate the committal proceedings, Thomas alleged that Lokman had been in contempt of court which was perpetrated on two occasions on Sept 25,2019.

The former AG said Lokman uttered words in a video interview that implied a threat against Amhari, who was Najib’s former special officer, for having given evidence against the Pekan MP in the 1MDB trial where Najib is accused of misappropriating RM2.28bil.

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