KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Former Umno member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam has filed an appeal against his conviction for contempt of court and his subsequent one-month jail sentence for intimidating a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial witness.
Lokman’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed confirmed that the appeal was filed with the Court of Appeal last Thursday following the High Court’s decision on the same day.
“Yes it has. Same day as the decision,” he told Malay Mail in a text reply.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam separately told Malay Mail that the prosecution has received the notice of appeal from Lokman’s lawyers.
Last Thursday, High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah found Lokman to be guilty of contempt of court for threatening a prosecution witness and future witnesses in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial involving over RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
The High Court was reported to have found that Lokman’s actions in lodging a press report and its contents as well as his remarks in a press conference had the effect of threatening the eighth prosecution witness in the 1MDB trial — Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin who is also Najib’s former aide — and future witnesses and were said to have a real risk of interfering with the administration of justice.
The High Court had then sentenced Lokman to one month of imprisonment over the contempt of court, but granted a stay on the sentence as Lokman’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had informed the court of his client’s intention to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The contempt of court case was over Lokman’s September 25, 2019 actions, which the prosecution in the 1MDB trial had claimed were intended to intimidate Amhari, other witnesses and any potential witnesses who may testify in Najib’s 1MDB trial.
On September 25, 2019, Lokman gave a video interview and lodged a police report on the same day.
The prosecution alleged that Lokman had in the September 25, 2019 video uttered words amounting to express or implied threats towards 1MDB trial witness Amhari.
Najib’s 1MDB trial involves 25 criminal charges — four counts of allegedly abusing his position for his own financial benefit totalling almost RM2.3 billion allegedly originating from 1MDB and 21 counts of alleged money laundering.
Najib’s 1MDB trial is scheduled to resume on August 17, with his lawyers expected to resume cross-examining the 10th prosecution witness and former 1MDB CEO, Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman.