Mat Sabu cleared of Bukit Kepong defamation charges

Mat-SabuPUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today cleared Amanah president Mohamad Sabu of two criminal defamation charges over his remarks on the 1950 Bukit Kepong incident.

A three-man bench comprising Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Ahmadi Asnawi and Rhodzariah Bujang dismissed the prosecution’s appeal and upheld his acquittal against the charges.

The prosecution was appealing against the decisions of a Sessions Court and High Court in acquitting Mohamad of the charges at the end of the prosecution’s case without ordering him to enter his defence.

In a unanimous decision, Justice Tengku Maimun, who chaired the court panel, said the court found no reason to depart from the conclusion made by the High Court that the charges imposed on Mohamad were defective.

“No misdirection by the High Court and trial judge in concluding that the prosecution had not sufficiently proven a prima facie case,” she said.

Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, was charged with defaming policemen and their family members who had defended themselves in the Feb 23, 1950 attack by communist guerrillas at the Bukit Kepong police station.

He was alternatively charged under the same section with criminally defaming three policemen – Constable Marin Abu Bakar Daud, Constable Jaafar Hassan and Sergeant Yusoff Rono – and their family members.

Mohamad, 61, was alleged to have committed the offence in front of Pusat Asuhan Tadika Islam (Pasti) Al-Fahmi, Markas Tarbiyah PAS in Padang Menora, Tasek Gelugor, Penang between 10pm and midnight on Aug 21, 2011.

His lawyer, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, submitted that the elements of the offence were not disclosed in the charge.

However, deputy public prosecutor Nurulhuda Nur’aini Mohamad Nor, who prosecuted, argued that the charge was not defective as the offence was disclosed in the charge.