KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas (pix) today obtained leave from the High Court to initiate committal proceedings against lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, over his media statement in relation to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s case.
High Court judge Datuk Mohd Firuz Jaffril allowed an ex-parte application by Thomas to commence committal proceedings against Muhammad Shafee.
“The court fixed March 25 for case management,“ Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who represented the AG, told reporters after the case was heard in chambers.
The ex-parte application was filed last month at the High Court Registrar’s Office and named Muhammad Shafee as the sole defendant.
In the application, the AG said Muhammad Shafee is an advocate and solicitor representing (accused) Najib who has been charged in the High Court with several offences related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.
He said that on Feb 7, 2019, after the court proceedings involving Najib in the High Court, the defendant was interviewed by several journalists outside the courtroom, and the interview was recorded by a videographer from Kinitv.com and telecast on KiniTV which is accessible via https://m.kinitv.com/video/70311O8.
Thomas claimed that the defendant knew or ought to have known that the offensive statement was contemptuous to the judge and would undermine the administration of justice and public confidence in the judicial system in Malaysia.
He said the defendant knew or ought to have known that the offensive statement would clearly place the trial judge in an embarrassing situation and create a state of uncertainty about the fair and just determination of the criminal case.
He claimed that the words were uttered deliberately and with intent by the defendant in an attempt to pressure and influence the decision in that criminal case.
Thomas contended that the offensive statement, made right after the proceedings involving the accused, had only one meaning and was intended to bring disrepute to the courts and judges and that it would undermine the administration of justice and public confidence in the judicial system in Malaysia.
He said that considering the words in their entirety would reasonably be perceived by the public that if the accused were to be convicted, the trial judge was not straight, the judge was influenced, the witnesses were coached and the evidence was fabricated.
He also said that the words would not only adversely affect the image and prestige of the courts and judges in Malaysia but place the trial judge in an embarrassing situation, the words would create a state of uncertainty about the fair and just determination of the case.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Shafee, when approached by reporters, said he will challenge the committal proceedings against him. — Bernama