Jail sentence for Lokman stays

Jail sentence for Lokman stays

PUTRAJAYA: Former Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam (pic) has failed to set aside his one-month jail sentence for intimidating a witness in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This is following a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal, chaired by Justice Kamaludin Md Said, that dismissed Lokman’s appeal here yesterday. Other judges on the panel were Justice Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali, who read the decision, and Justice Nordin Hassan.

They found that the appellant indeed had the intention to lodge a police report and make a media statement.

“We find there is no error with the decision by the High Court. There was clearly an intention to disrupt the administration of justice,” Justice Che Mohd Ruzima said.

Lokman is appealing against a High Court decision on July 15, 2021, that convicted and sentenced him for contempt of court for intimidating Najib’s former special officer Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who is a key witness in the RM2.28bil 1MDB trial.

The appellate court also dismissed a cross-appeal by the prosecution which sought to increase Lokman’s jail sentence from one month to at least three months.

“A sentence passed by the High Court should not be easily ‘touched’ at the appellate level unless there is proof that the sentence is excessive.

“There is no reasonable grounds for us to correct the sentence. We unanimously find the sentence by the High Court judge as appropriate and reasonable.

“We dismiss both appeals (by the prosecution and the appellant) on the sentence,” Justice Che Mohd Ruzima said.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented Lokman, asked the court for a stay on the order of committal and sentence pending an appeal at the Federal Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar said the prosecution did not object to a stay.

The court then allowed a stay of execution of the committal order and sentence pending an appeal.

On July 15, 2021, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah, the presiding judge in the 1MDB trial, sentenced Lokman to one month’s jail for contempt of court.

The prosecution successfully obtained leave to initiate committal proceedings against Lokman in 2019.

In the application, the then attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas sought an order for Lokman to be committed to prison or be fined for his actions over contempt of court acts perpetrated on two occasions on Sept 25, 2019.

Thomas said Lokman had uttered words in a video interview that constituted an express or implied threat against Amhari for having given evidence against the accused in the criminal trial against the former prime minister at the High Court.

He said that on the same day, Lokman lodged the police report against Amhari in respect of the evidence given by him at Najib’s ongoing criminal trial.

The object or purpose of the respondent’s said actions was to harass and intimidate Amhari, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who might come forward to give evidence against the accused in the trial, he said.

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