AG’s Chambers rejects Isham Jalil’s offer for apology

KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has rejected former Umno Supreme Council member Hizatul Isham Abdul Jalil’s offer for an unreserved apology in his contempt of court proceedings over his comments on the SRC International Sdn Bhd and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trials.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohamad Mustafa P Kunyalam informed the court on Wednesday that the AGC has rejected the letter of representation by Hizatul, better known as Isham Jalil, where he offered the court apology.

Isham’s matter will now go for hearing, which is slated to start on Oct 14 this year, before High Court judge Datuk Noorin Badaruddin.

Isham was hauled to court over his allegedly contemptuous comments related to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s now concluded SRC International case and the ongoing 1MDB trial. Isham was also the special officer to Najib.

Isham has said that he had offered the apology in his letter of representation sent on March 25, following the AGC’s suggestion a few weeks ago.

If found guilty, the 47-year-old could face imprisonment or a fine over his comments made in an interview entitled “Townhall for Justice: Keadilan Sebenarnya Untuk Siapa”. The comments were published on the Facebook page of “The Malaya Post” on Sept 30 last year.

Isham had, among others, highlighted the SRC trial’s presiding judge Datuk Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s former employment at Maybank. The now appellate court judge had served as general counsel of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and had advised the bank over matters concerning 1MDB.

However, the Federal Court during Najib’s final appeal in August 2022, and a separate bench presiding over his review application in March 2023, both found the alleged conflict of interest to be baseless.

Isham had also commented on 1MDB presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah’s decision in dismissing an application by the defence to recuse himself from the trial, which he is now presiding for the sixth year.

The defence made the application to recuse the now Court of Appeal judge, on the grounds that he was partners with former 1MDB counsel Jasmine Loo in a law firm more than a decade ago.

Sequerah dismissed the application last August on the grounds that Najib had failed to prove that there is a real danger of bias. Najib is appealing the decision, and the hearing is set for August.

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