KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas today obtained leave from the High Court to initiate committal proceedings against Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam for allegedly threatening a witness in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin.
High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the application for leave to commence the contempt proceedings, filed by the AG against Lokman, who was named as the respondent.
“The applicant is to file the notice of motion regarding the contempt proceedings within 14 days from today,” said Justice Sequerah.
Earlier, senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was representing the AG, said there was a clear attempt to interfere with due administration of justice by the respondent at prima facie stage.
“We submitted that the threshold for leave to initiate contempt has been met due to a clear attempt by Lokman to interfere in the due administration of justice,” Sri Ram said.
Sri Ram submitted that the respondent not only lodged a police report against Amhari Efendi but also gave a video interview where he allegedly attacked the integrity of the AG.
On October 10, the AG filed the leave application for contempt proceedings over Lokman’s alleged contempt of court acts perpetrated on two occasions on September 25.
Lokman was not present in court because this is an ex parte application and the court heard submissions from the AG side.
In the application, the AG sought an order that the respondent be committed to prison or be fined for his contempt on September 25.
The AG said that on that date (September 25) the respondent in a video interview uttered words constituting an express or implied threat against the witness, Amhari Efendi, who was the special officer to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, for having given evidence against the accused in the criminal trial of public prosecutor against Najib at the High Court.
The AG said he undertook to play the said video recording at the hearing of the application for leave and at the hearing of the substantive motion in the event leave is granted.
He said on the same day, Lokman lodged the police report against Amhari Efendi, who was the eighth prosecution witness, in respect of the evidence given by him at Najib’s ongoing criminal trial.
The object or purpose of the respondent’s said act was to harass and intimidate Amhari Efendi, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who may come forward to give evidence against the accused in the trial, said the AG.
He said the intimidation of witnesses constituted an interference with due administration of justice and therefore is a serious contempt of court. — Bernama