Lokman to have his day in court, judge refuses to recuse himself

(FMT) – Former Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam is claiming trial for allegedly showing disrespect to the court during Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption trial.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed the hearing for Aug 3.

Earlier, Sequerah dismissed an application by Lokman’s lawyer, K Balaguru, for the judge to recuse himself from hearing the case.

“In my view, I am the best person to hear the matter as it happened in my court,” said Sequerah, who is also the trial judge in Zahid’s case.

The judge, however, allowed Balaguru’s application to issue a subpoena to deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran, the lead prosecutor in Zahid’s trial, for her to give evidence.

“In the interest of justice, the DPP can be cross-examined as she started the ball rolling to start the proceeding,” he said.

On June 30, Raja Rozela reported to Sequerah that a member of the public had “retaliated” when a policeman asked him not to “play” with his mobile phone.

Asked if the individual was still in the courtroom, Lokman, who was in the public gallery, stood up and said he was “typing” on his mobile phone.

According to the show cause notice read out to Lokman in court on Monday, he is alleged to have uttered: “The person in front is allowed to, so why am I not? Stupid!”

At the outset of today’s proceeding, Balaguru informed Sequerah that Lokman was not pleading guilty to the charge as he did not commit contempt in the face of the court.

“He was not referring to the policeman when he said ‘stupid’, but (was referring to) the court SOP,” he said.

Balaguru, who was assisted by S Velan, said the policeman first told a court senior assistant registrar of the incident.

He said the senior assistant registrar then narrated the incident to Raja Rozela, who informed the judge about it.

“This is triple hearsay, misleading the court is equally contemptuous,” he said.

DPP Izalina Abdullah assisted the court in today’s proceeding.