For failing to turn up in court on time, the Hindraf leader had to cough up a new RM15,000 bail today after the sessions court hearing his sedition trial forfeited RM7,000 from his previous bail amount
PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court which is hearing the sedition trial of P Uthayakumar today forfeited RM7,000 of the Hindraf leader’s RM10,000 bail for failing to turn up at a previous hearing.
Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain today also imposed a new bail of RM15,000 upon Uthayakumar, who had to be detained until he could pay up the bail amount.
Complaining about this new turn of events to FMT, Uthayakumar said that this was “unprecedented” move by the court that “does not show that justice is being done”.
Uthayakumar said that on the July 27 hearing, in which he turned up one and half hours late, the court had even issued a warrant of arrest against him (it was subsequently cancelled).
“I turned up late because I was waiting for a High Court judge to obtain an interim stay on the proceedings that day. This was unheard of; normally when you are held up by a higher court, the lower court should wait for you,” he said.
According to Uthayakumar, he made four applications today in his attempt to defend himself against the sedition charge.
“First, I submitted that there is double jeopardy in this case as I was already detained two weeks later under the Internal Security Act [ISA] when I was charged with sedition in 2007. I have already been punished for 17 months. It overlapped,” he said.
Uthayakumar said that he also made applications to say that the charge against him was “groundless” as there are elements, such as the existence of the website where he allegedly wrote the seditious article, that cannot be proven.
He had also submitted that the charge against him was a “politically motivated charge” and a “malicious prosecution”.
The judge, according to Uthayakumar, had dismissed all four applications. He he said that he will be appealing to the High Court.
‘Withdraw the charge’
Uthayakumar, whose case is still ongoing today and will be heard again on Sept 18, is represented by lawyer M Manoharan while deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin prosecuted.
The 49-year-old former ISA detainee was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Dec 11, 2007, with publishing a seditious letter on the “Police Watch Malaysia” website, dated Nov 15, 2007, addressed to then prime minister of Britain, Gordon Brown.
Meanwhile, Uthayakumar is also seeking a review of the ruling of the Federal Court which had validated his sedition charge, in view of the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to repeal the Sedition Act 1948.
In his notice of motion filed last week, Uthayakumar had argued that there were special circumstances for the Federal Court to review the June 25 decision to dismiss Uthayakumar’s appeal and rule that the Sedition Act was a valid Act.
Previously, the Kuala Lumpur High Court rejected Uthayakumar’s application to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional. He also lost both his appeals at the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.
Uthayakumar said today: “If the government is announcing the abolishing of the death penalty, you can’t be sending people to the gallows. Similarly, in the spirit of Najib’s recent announcement, the charge against me ought to be withdrawn,” he said
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