KUALA LUMPUR, (Feb 21) — The High Court on Friday found lawyer and DAP chairman Karpal Singh guilty of sedition for questioning the Sultan of Perak’s action in removing Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the menteri besar of Perak in 2009.
Justice Datuk Azman Abdullah set March 7 for sentencing after Karpal Singh’s counsel, his son Gobind Singh Deo, informed the court that his father was unwell and needed time to prepare his mitigation.
Karpal Singh, 73, was charged with having said at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama on Feb 6, 2009, that the removal of Mohammad Nizar and the appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new menteri besar by the sultan could be questioned in court.
The charge, under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948, provides for a maximum jail term of three years and a fine of RM5,000, or both, upon conviction.
The High Court had, on June 11, 2010, acquitted and discharged Karpal Singh without calling for his defence but, following an appeal by the prosecution, the Court of Appeal, on Jan 20, 2012, ordered the Bukit Gelugor MP to make his defence.
Azman, in his judgement, said the court found that Karpal Singh’s testimony, delivered over seven days, and that of another defence witness had failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.
Karpal Singh told reporters afterwards that he respected the decision of the court and that he would appeal soon after the court meted out the sentence.
Members of Karpal Singh’s family as well as the top leaders of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat pact were present in court today to lend support to the DAP leader.
The prosecution was represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin. — BERNAMA