MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Prosecution seeks minimum 3 months jail time for Lokman in contempt case

The prosecution contended that the one-month jail term against Lokman Noor Adam for contempt ought to be increased to safeguard the dignity of the administration of justice.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar told the Court of Appeal that the former Umno supreme council member should be subjected to at least three months in jail for contempt of court linked to former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption trial.

Today’s hearing was in relation to the prosecution’s appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision on July 15 last year to impose a one-month jail sentence against Lokman (above) for contempt of court.

The prosecution’s committal application was in relation to Lokman’s alleged threat against Najib’s former special officer Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin, who is the eighth prosecution witness in the former prime minister’s ongoing 1MDB graft trial.

However, High Court allowed an application by Lokman’s legal team to stay the execution of the sentence pending his appeal to quash the committal finding as well as the jail term.

The prosecution also happened to be appealing in order to increase the sentence.

During a hearing before a three-person Court of Appeal bench chaired by Kamaludin Md Said, Dusuki orally submitted that the one-month jail sentence was not enough to send a message on the gravity of the said offence.

“We (prosecution) are appealing against the one-month jail sentence as it does not reflect the demand of public interest, which requires higher punishment to show to the people at large that the judicial system has to be protected.

“We have to protect the public interest and dignity of the administration of justice. The respondent’s (Lokman) conduct has affected this.

“The punishment should be enhanced to at least three months,” Dusuki told the panel, which also comprised judges Nordin Hassan and Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.

Muhammad Shafee Abdullah

However, Lokman’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah countered that the contempt application was defective as it did not sufficiently detail particulars regarding the alleged contemptuous against Amhari.

The lawyer pointed out that Lokman’s action of lodging a police report against Amhari did not amount to contempt of court as lodging of police reports is a public duty, especially for Lokman who was involved in politics.

Shafee submitted that even if the panel decides to uphold the finding of contempt against Lokman, then the jail sentence should be quashed and substituted with a fine of less than RM2,000.

The lawyer added that a fine less than RM2,000 would enable Lokman to still be a candidate for future elections.

Article 48(1) of the Federal Constitution states that a person is disqualified as an MP or from contesting in an election if he or she had been imprisoned for a term of not less than a year or fined not less than RM2,000.

After hearing oral arguments from both the prosecution and Lokman’s legal team, the Court of Appeal reserved judgment over the cross-appeals and fixed Oct 3 for case management to set a decision date.

According to the prosecution’s committal application, Lokman was alleged to have perpetrated contempt of court on Sept 25, 2019, when the Umno member lodged a police report against Amhari, in relation to the oral evidence given by him at the 1MDB trial.

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak

Najib, who used to be Umno president, is now BN advisory chairperson.

The Pekan MP is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence over the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case.

Initially a subsidiary of 1MDB, SRC International later became fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc).

Najib also used to be finance minister, chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisors, and advisor emeritus of SRC. - Mkini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.