April 28, 009 By LOH FOON FONG
KUALA LUMPUR: Karpal Singh failed in his application to get himself discharged from his sedition case after a High Court held that the written consent issued by the Public Prosecutor to prosecute him was not defective.
The veteran lawyer and politician had argued that the consent dated March 11 which only state that he had “said seditious words” was not adequate.
Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah, in rejecting the application, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s written consent was similar to the ones often issued for cases which carried heavier sentences.
Azman was referring to cases where the whole general content was taken and not specific seditious words.
He pointed out in one case that the words were even more loosely phrased.
“Moreover, the consent in today’s case is signed by the Public Prosecutor himself and in terms of value, it is higher because it is made by him and not his deputy,” he said.
Karpal was alleged to have uttered seditious words during a media conference relating to Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah’s consent to remove Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Mentri Besar.
He was said to have uttered those words at his law firm Messrs Karpal Singh & Co between noon and 12.30pm on Feb 6.
The DAP chairman, who acted for himself, submitted that words must be specified in a written consent and should state which is the part/parts under the six sedition tendencies under Section 3 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948.
Azman pointed out that in the case of Fan Yew Teng vs Public Prosecutor (1975), the Federal Court had decided that the charge under the Sedition Act 1948 was not defective although it did not cite which sedition tendency.
Azman set Aug 12 to begin the trial after Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup said there were more than 40 witnesses who would testify in the case.
After the court adjourned, Karpal said he would appeal.
“It’s important to decide once and for all what written consent entails,” he said.