Rantau returning officer does not want same judge to rehear contempt case

Amino Agos Suyub was jailed for three months for coaching a witness at the hearing of an election petition.

PETALING JAYA: Former Rantau returning officer Amino Agos Suyub has filed an appeal to reverse an order by the Court of Appeal that his contempt proceeding be heard before the same judge.

Amino filed the appeal application with the Federal Court last week as he needs to convince the apex court the issue raised is a novel question of law.

He named the Election Commission, Rantau assemblyman Mohamad Hasan and PKR’s Dr Streram Sinnasamy as respondents.

Lawyer Srikanth Pillai, representing Streram, said the legal team was awaiting their client’s instruction.

“A retrial was supposed to be held as instructed by the Court of Appeal but the returning officer has taken his case to the apex court,” he told FMT.

Srikanth said Amino also wanted to suspend the hearing of the contempt proceedings pending an outcome in the apex court.

A case management has been fixed on July 2 to obtain a stay in the Court of Appeal while another case management set on July 11 is on the leave application.

On May 17, a three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Hamid Sultan Abu Backer allowed Amino’s appeal against conviction and sentence for contempt on grounds that the rules of natural justice had been breached.

Hamid said the court ought to hear the case again.

Election judge Azimah Omar had jailed Amino for three months last October for coaching a witness during the hearing of an election petition filed by Streram.

The Rembau district officer was the returning officer for the Rantau state seat during the general election on May 9 last year.

“What is plainly wrong in this case was the case laws that were relied on, which have no relation to Amino’s case, which was contempt in the face of the court.

“In fact, most of them were on contempt cases of scandalising the courts,” Hamid said in his 51-page judgment.

Mohamad, a former Negri Sembilan menteri besar and acting Umno president, retained the seat in a by-election on April 13 after defeating his three challengers, including Streram.