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Karpal’s preliminary objection dismissed

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 April 2009: The High Court here today dismissed a preliminary objection by DAP chairperson Karpal Singh that he should be to be freed of a charge under the Sedition Act.

Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah made the decision after ruling that the consent letter from the Public Prosecutor was complete because it was signed by the Public Prosecutor and not his deputy.

“In the case before us today, there is a written consent letter which is nearly the same as the one usually issued for cases which carry a heavier penalty.

“The consent in today’s case is signed by the Public Prosecutor himself and this carries a higher value because it was considered by him and not his deputy,” he said.

He then fixed 12-14 July for trial.

Deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup informed the court that the prosecution would be calling 45 witnesses.

Karpal Singh is charged with uttering seditious words at a press conference related to the Sultan of Perak at his office, Karpal Singh & Co, in Jalan Pudu Lama here between noon and 12.30pm on 6 Feb.

He raised the preliminary objection on the ground that the letter of consent did not meet the provisions of section 5 of the Sedition Act 1948 which stated that an accused could not be charged with an offence under section 4 without a letter of consent from the prosecution.

Karpal Singh, who represented himeself, said that the consent letter submitted by the Attorney-General was flawed because it did not contain the alleged seditious words or a transcript of the alleged seditious words as stated in the charge.

If convicted under section 4(1)(b) of the act, he faces a maximum RM5,000 fine or three years jail, or both. — Bernama

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