The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Affairs Department's request to the syariah court for an earlier hearing for Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz's case is an attempt to placate the media.
PETALING JAYA: The request by Federal Territories Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jawi) for an earlier trial date against Borders’ store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz’s syariah court hearing is an attempt to turn the hearing into a ‘media circus’, claimed a source.
“Jawi’s request to expedite the case has nothing to do with the accused person’s innocence or guilt, but rather an attempt to use the court to placate the media and bloggers,” said the source.
“It is an improper use of the legal process. The prosecution’s desire to convert these legal proceedings into a media circus will prejudice Nik Raina’s right to a fair trial.”
Nik Raina was charged under section 13 (1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997, for selling Irshad Manji’s book ‘Allah, Kebebasan & Cinta’ on June 19.
If convicted, she faces a RM3,000 fine or a maximum of two years’ jail, or both.
She is alleged to have committed the offence on May 23. The hearing for the case has been fixed for Sept 19.
On June 27, Syariah chief prosecutor applied to bring forward the date to August, saying the case was a matter of public interest.
The source said the claim by the prosecution that the September date was too far away was baseless because the Sept 19 date was agreed to by the Syariah chief prosecutor.
Berjaya Books, owner of Borders filed a leave application for a judicial review against Jawi’s action in KL High Court on June 25.
The leave was granted and the hearing at the High Court has been fixed for Sept 5.