Lokman Noor Adam is convinced that former premier Najib Abdul Razak is innocent of the charges levelled against him in relation to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
However, the Umno supreme council member is not surprised that the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered Najib to enter his defence on all seven charges against him.
And he blamed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for this.
Met outside the Kuala Lumpur court complex, Lokman said the court had heard how fugitive financier Jho Low was the one controlling SRC International.
However, he pointed out that neither Low nor SRC International’s former CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil was called as witnesses.
Lokman claimed that Mahathir was interfering in the court case and perverting the course of justice.
“Since the beginning, I knew there was interference from Mahathir. Had that not been so, the case would have been dropped,” he said.
Lokman was among some 100 supporters of the former prime minister who had gathered outside the court complex yesterday.
Other Umno leaders spotted include Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, Mohd Puad Zarkashi, Johan Abdul Aziz and Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.
Earlier, the High Court judge in Kuala Lumpur, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, ordered Najib to enter his defence for abuse of power in relation to the Retirement Fund Incorporated’s (KWAP) RM4 billion loan to SRC International, for committing criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
The onus is now on the Najib’s defence team to prove reasonable doubt, failing which, Najib would be convicted.
Apart from the SRC International case, Najib is also facing a slew of charges in connection with the 1MDB scandal.
In an immediate response, criminal lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said Lokman should substantiate his claim of Mahathir’s “meddling”.
Rafique said Najib was still not found guilty and have the opportunity to defend himself.
“So, rather than focussing on Najib, my advice would be for Lokman to instead worry about the slew of cases against him in court.
“Some free advice: Please engage a competent lawyer. I fear if you go at it alone, you will be inadequate counsel,” said Rafique in a statement.
Meanwhile, another lawyer, DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh said Lokman’s statement is another allegation “bordering on contempt of court”, following that of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on the Johor basikal lajak tragedy court ruling.
“There can be no doubt that Lokman’s said allegation undermines public confidence in the judiciary, and ridicules, scandalises and offends the dignity, impartiality and integrity of the court,” the Bukit Gelugor MP said in a statement.
Echoing Ramkarpal’s statement, Mohd Haniff Katri Abdulla, who once represented Mahathir, deemed Lokman’s comments “the highest form of insult on the court”.
In a separate statement, he accused Lokman of merely trying to instigate the public’s anger over the case, despite the trial not having been concluded.
“In other words, Lokman wishes to create the perception that the court has supposedly been used by the government, under Mahathir, in (delivering) this decision.
“Such an evil and sly statement is not only an insult to the court but can create tension among the people, if the Attorney-General (Tommy Thomas) does not take stern action in the form of commital proceedings against Lokman,” he said.