KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will hear the committal proceedings brought by the Attorney-General (AG) against former UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam (pix) for allegedly intimidating a witness in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on March 18.
The witness is Najib’s former special officer, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, a key witness in the case.
Deputy public prosecutor T. Deepa Nair said the hearing would be before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
“The court has ordered the prosecution and the respondent (Lokman Noor) to file the written submission on Feb 18 and, if there is an additional argument, it must be filed on March 4,“ she said when contacted by reporters after the case management before Judge Sequerah today.
On Jan 14 last year, Judge Sequerah rejected Lokman Noor’s application to set aside the leave obtained by the AG after finding that the fact and the nature of the alleged contempt were sufficiently brought to the attention of the respondent (Lokman Noor).
He ruled that a show cause notice had been issued to Lokman Noor and the public prosecutor complied with Order 52 of Rule 2B of the Rules of Court 2012.
On May 13 last year, Lokman lost his appeal in the Court of Appeal to set aside the leave obtained by Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, who was the then AG, to commence committal proceedings against him (Lokman) for allegedly intimidating a witness in Najib’s 1MDB case.
The appellate court three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Yaacob Md Sam ruled that the High Court did not make any error when allowing the AG’s leave application to commence the contempt proceedings.
Justice Sequerah granted the leave to the AG on Oct 22, 2019, to initiate committal proceedings against Lokman Noor for contempt of court act perpetrated on two occasions on Sept 25 the same year (2019).
Thomas, 68, who was appointed as AG on June 4, 2018, by then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for a two-year term to replace Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and resigned from the post on Feb 29 this year, initiated the committal proceeding against Lokman, seeking an order for Lokman to be committed to prison or be fined for his action.
According to Thomas, on Sept 25, 2019, Lokman had uttered words in a video interview, constituting an express or implied threat against Amhari Efendi, for having given evidence in the former prime minister’s trial at the High Court.
Thomas said that on the same day, Lokman lodged a police report against Amhari Efendi, who was the eighth prosecution witness, in respect of the evidence given by him at the trial.
The object or purpose of the respondent’s act, said the AG, was to harass and intimidate Amhari Efendi, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who may come forward to give evidence against Najib in the 1MDB trial. — Bernama