PETALING JAYA: Public discussions on the corruption case surrounding former prime minister Najib Razak would not be prejudicial to him, says Syahredzan Johan, political secretary to Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang.
He said this was because the country did not practise the jury system.
He noted that it was undeniable that Najib, like any other accused, had the right to a fair trial.
“As a result, media reports and public discussion on the case will not influence or affect the trial itself.
“It should not prejudice Najib’s right as an accused to get a fair trial,” he said in a statement today.
Syahredzan was commenting on the High Court yesterday setting aside an interim gag order issued to stop the public from discussing all criminal charges framed against Najib.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had said the former prime minister would not be prejudiced if the restraining order was lifted.
In agreeing with the judge’s decision, Syahredzan, who is a lawyer by profession, was of the view that a gag order was against the right to free speech, as enshrined in Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.
“This is also against press freedom, where the media has the freedom to report and publish views on issues without any restrictions.
“The judge’s decision in rejecting the gag order application is right, and affirms how important it is to have freedom of speech in expressing ones’ views.”
Syahredzan said should there be anything that prejudices Najib, this can be addressed by way of a defamation action, if need be.