AG’s Chambers to review all sedition charges

DPP Wan Shaharuddin says at the moment there were about 10 cases that would be reviewed.

PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will review all sedition charges framed against accused persons provided representations are made, a government lawyer said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the review would be undertaken in light of evidence and the current policy of the new Pakatan Harapan government.

“We will review, if there are representations made to the AGC,” he told reporters after seeking adjournment from the Court of Appeal in the sedition appeal by former Padang Serai MP and lawyer N Surendran.

Wan Shaharuddin said at the moment there were about 10 cases that would be reviewed.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench led by Umi Kalthum Abdul Majib today fixed Surendran’s case for case management on Aug 13 pending a decision by the AGC.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Surendran, said he would be making a representation to the AGC in due course.

“The charge against him was frivolous and vexatious. The former IGP (Khalid Abu Bakar) saw a seditious individual behind every bush. I’m miffed,” he told reporters.

Sri Ram said Surendran, as Anwar Ibrahim’s counsel, was merely expressing his views that there was a conspiracy to charge the former opposition leader with sexual misconduct.

Surendran had been charged with sedition in August 2014 for comments in a YouTube video criticising (the) then prime minister Najib Razak for purportedly mounting a political conspiracy against the former opposition leader who was convicted of a sodomy charge.

Subsequently, Surendran filed an application in the High Court to refer three constitutional questions to the Federal Court.

The High Court declined to refer the matter to the apex court on grounds the questions had been answered in Prof Azmi Sharom’s challenge against the Sedition Act.

The three questions are whether the Sedition Act is constitutional, whether the Act violates Articles 5, 8, 10 of the Federal Constitution and whether intention being irrelevant is unconstitutional.

Surendran was ordered to go through a trial in the Sessions Court but instead filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal.