KUALA LUMPUR — July 31, 2019: The leave obtained by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to initiate committal proceedings against lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah over comments to the media has been set aside by a court.
In deciding this, justice Datuk Mohd. Firuz Jaffril pointed out that the originating summons by Thomas was lacking in particulars on the contempt charge.
The person who is charged with contempt must know exactly what he is charged for so the summons must fairly and adequately describe the alleged contemptuous words.
Firuz also found that the impugned words were not deliberately uttered by Shafee but were a reply to a journalist and also ordered Thomas to pay RM30,000 in costs to Shafee.
On March 1, a High Court had allowed Thomas’s application for leave. In the motion Thomas said that last February 7, after court proceedings involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Shafee was interviewed by several journalists outside the courtroom.
Thomas claimed the defendant knew or ought to have known that the offensive statement was contemptuous to the judge and would undermine the administration of justice and public confidence in the judicial system.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan will seek an instruction from Thomas whether to appeal. — Bernama