KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Umno politician Datuk Lokman Noor Adam presented himself at the High Court here today without a lawyer for his contempt of court case, despite insisting on being represented when told to show cause last week for allegedly insulting a police officer during the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The 49-year-old Lokman called himself a "freelance blogger" and told judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah that he did not have a lawyer.
According to the show-cause notice read out by the court interpreter, Lokman was alleged to have committed contempt of court offence when he uttered: "Yang depan boleh, kenapa saya tak boleh? Stupid!" to a police officer of the court while Zahid's trial was taking place last Thursday.
When asked how he is pleading, Lokman said: "Yang Arif, there are sentences in the charge that is not that true. So allow me to say what happened, and I have apologised to the lance-corporal and I had apologised to Yang Arif."
The judge noted that this is a qualified plea and that Lokman would have to take the stand on oath as it appears he has some explanation to offer.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran who is leading the prosecution for Zahid's trial, was then asked by the High Court to assist in the contempt proceedings against Lokman.
Shortly after, Raja Rozela asked Lokman to relate the incident between between him and the policeman that led to the dispute and his confirmation that the officer asked him to turn off his handphone.
Zahid's lawyers, who were also present in court, then suggested that proceedings be paused since Lokman had said last Thursday that he wanted a lawyer to represent him, even though he came without one today.
After a short break, Zahid's lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal told the court that Lokman insisted on having his lawyer, but the latter was not currently in Kuala Lumpur and would be available this Friday.
Justice Sequerah then deferred the hearing to Friday, saying he had no alternative since Lokman has a right to the lawyer of his choice.
The judge also confirmed that Lokman had made a qualified plea, which meant that no plea of guilty or otherwise was recorded.
The judge then said Lokman is to be instructed to make sure his lawyer is present when the contempt case is heard this Friday.
Last Thursday, the prosecution had called for Lokman to be cited for contempt of court, as he was said to have called the police officer "stupid" when told to stop playing with his handphone.
On that day, the judge asked Lokman to come today for the contempt case with his lawyer to explain why he should not be cited for contempt of court, as Lokman had said he wants to hire a lawyer to represent him.
Lokman had last Thursday tried to explain that he saw someone else allegedly taking notes using a laptop and asked why taking notes using a handphone is not allowed, insisting that he had taken notes on his handphone.
As Lokman last Thursday chose to engage a lawyer to defend him, the judge had scheduled this morning to hear his contempt case.
This is not the first time that Lokman has found himself having to defend against allegations of having committed contempt of court.
Previously on July 15, 2021, High Court judge Sequerah found Lokman guilty of contempt of court due to his actions in September 2019 that amounted to threatening a prosecution witness in former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial involving the misappropriation of over RM2 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) funds.
Sequerah, who is the judge hearing Najib’s separate trial, had at that time sentenced Lokman to one-month jail over the contempt of court committed, but had also allowed the sentence to be stayed pending Lokman’s appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Lokman was a member of Umno’s supreme council, but was in February 2020 expelled and sacked by the party.
In September 2021, Umno decided to allow Lokman to join the party again, but only accepted him as an ordinary party member.