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Karpal files application to strike out sedition charge

May 30, 2012

He says the charge against him is fatally flawed, discriminatory, is a nullity and should be withdrawn with immediate effect.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Karpal Singh today filed an application to strike out a sedition charge against him for allegedly uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak, three years ago.

The application together with supporting affidavits were filed at the Criminal High Court registry here.

He also submitted copies of the application to High Court judge Azman Abdullah, who was scheduled to hear his (Karpal Singh’s) defence today.

The court set July 20 to hear the application by Karpal, who is also the MP for Bukit Gelugor.

The prosecution represented by deputy public prosecutors Noorin Badaruddin and Azlina Rasdi told the court that they needed two weeks to file their affidavit-in-reply.

Karpal in his application cited that prosecutorial discretion by the prosecution based on Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 was in conflict with equal protection under the law whereby the accused was allowed bail under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution, thus making the proceedings against him “void ab initio” (invalid).

Karpal also contended that what was stated in the charge far exceeded what was spelt out in Section 4 of the Sedition Act and was also in conflict with what was debated on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1993 by the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, ministers and MPs in the Dewan Rakyat in 1993.

As such, he claimed that the charge against him was fatally flawed, discriminatory, was a nullity and should be withdrawn with immediate effect.

On Jan 20, a three-man bench of the Court of Appeal unanimously ordered Karpal to enter his defence on a charge of uttering seditious words against Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak during a press conference in 2009.

The panel led by Justice Ahmad Ma’arop with justices Clement Allan Skinner and Mohamed Apandi Ali making up the quorum, had set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision on June 11, 2010 to acquit and discharge Karpal from the charge without calling for his defence.

Karpal was charged with uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama here between noon and 12.30pm on Feb 6, 2009.

He was alleged to have said that the removal of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as menteri besar of Perak by the sultan could be questioned in a court of law.

The charge under section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act carries a maximum RM5,000 fine or three years’ jail, or both, if convicted.

- Bernama


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