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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, September 29, 2022

One-month jail sentence for Lokman not enough, says DPP


On July 15, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Lokman Noor Adam to a one-month jail term after finding him guilty for contempt of court for intimidating a witness. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: A one-month jail imposed by the High Court on Lokman Noor Adam for contempt of court is insufficient and should be increased to protect the dignity of the administration of justice, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor Dusuki Mokhtar submitted that the prosecution was seeking at least a three-month imprisonment for the former Umno Supreme Council member to show the seriousness of the offence as it was a high-profile case.

“First and foremost, this case is of public interest. Interference with the administration of justice is a serious offence. We humbly submit that the sentence imposed by the High Court is insufficient.

“Those who behave this way should be punished and given a sentence that would deter others from similar conduct,” he said in the prosecution’s cross-appeal against the High Court’s decision.

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On July 15, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Lokman to a one-month jail term after finding him guilty of contempt of court for intimidating a key witness in former prime minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial.

The witness was Najib’s former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin.

Dusuki said in a police report, the contemnor (Lokman) made further allegations that it was Amhari who misled the accused (Najib) and was in cahoots with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, to victimise Najib.

“The contemnor further quoted some of the evidence presented in court and manipulated it in the police report to paint a picture that Najib was victimised by Amhari. These acts constitute intimidation of the witness and other witnesses for the prosecution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lokman’s counsel Shafee Abdullah submitted that his client was only practising his public duty when he lodged a police report against Amhari.

“A police report lodged by my client against the witness cannot be subject to contempt. My client lodged the report after the witness (Amhari) admitted that he received monies from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low. How can this be intimidation?” the lawyer said in Lokman’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.

A three-member bench comprising Kamaludin Md Said, Che Ruzima Ghazali and Nordin Hassan set Oct 3 for case management.

On Oct 22, 2019, judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted leave to the then attorney-general (AG) Tommy Thomas to initiate committal proceedings against Lokman for contempt of court for his actions on Sept 25, 2019.

On Jan 14, 2020, Sequerah rejected Lokman’s application to set aside the leave obtained by the AG. Lokman also lost his two appeals in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court to overturn the High Court ruling.

Thomas had initiated the committal proceedings against Lokman to seek an order for Lokman to be committed to prison or fined for his actions.

According to Thomas, on Sept 25, 2019, Lokman uttered words in a video interview that constituted an expressed or implied threat against Amhari for testifying 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 in respect of the evidence given by him at the trial.

The respondent’s aim was to harass and intimidate Amhari, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who might come forward to give evidence against Najib in the 1MDB trial, said Thomas. - FMT

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