KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 - A lawyer who was present at the scuffle between his colleague and an Utusan Malaysia photographer in the Shah Alam High Court last Tuesday said today that the media should not interfere with the rights of lawyers and their clients to attend court.
LS Leonard claimed in a statement representing the Chambers of Firdaus that not only was his colleague S. Suresh assaulted by the media, but the throng of cameramen had also obstructed the legal team’s path to their courtroom during the Cradle Fund CEO murder verdict.
"The cameramen and media personnel who were involved in the incident including cameraman Muhamad Zulfadhli Zaki who assaulted Suresh must be investigated and brought to justice,” he said.
According to him, the legal team, including their client Samirah Muzaffar, were unable to have a safe passage to Courtroom 4 and could not make it to their destination on time as they were already rushing when "a large group of media cameramen came running and surrounded us”.
He also claimed that Suresh had sustained head injuries requiring treatment from Shah Alam Hospital while his colleague Savreena Kaur "sustained serious discomfort to her eyes due to intense and close-range camera flashes”.
"Both lawyers and their clients must be protected from any form of intimidation and interference to their passage and movement in court. The incident on June 21, 2022 is an affront to an officer of the court and to the dignity of administration of justice,” he said.
The scuffle had occurred in the court lobby while Samirah was being escorted by her legal team to the delivery of the decision in the case dealing with the murder of Cradle Fund chief executive Nazrin Hassan which occurred four years ago.
Leonard describes the incident through the actions caught in a viral video in which he claims that photographer Muhammad Zulfadhli attempted to attack Suresh by punching and kicking him while he was trying to avoid the cameras and making way for the rest of the legal team to enter the lobby.
He said that Muhamad Zulfadhli had punched and bruised Suresh’s head, and when the lawyer approached him to identify him, he struck Suresh’s head with his camera and then challenged the lawyer to a fight.
He noted that vulgar language was used and it was later discovered that Muhamad Zulfadhli’s media pass had expired.
In his defence, Muhamad Zulfadhli told The Vibes that he was only carrying out his duties as a photographer and that Suresh should not have grabbed his personal belongings, admitting that he struck Suresh as an act of self-defence.
Both of them have since lodged a police report over the incident.