SHAH ALAM, 15 Dec 2008: The High Court here today allowed the prosecution’s application to amend the sedition charge against blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin.
Justice Datuk Su Geok Yiam said the prosecution’s application to amend the charge would not prejudice the accused because the original charge and the amended charge were the same.
The only difference was the inclusion of the website address and title of the alleged seditious article, she said.
She said the application to amend the charge also met the provision under the Criminal Procedure Code and would not prejudice the accused because the defence could recall all five prosecution witnesses who had given evidence.
Besides, she said, the amendment was not a substitution as alleged by the defence but gave clearer information to the original charge and would make it easy for the defence to prepare their defence.
She said a copy of the original article had also been given by the prosecution to the defence beforehand according to Section 51(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code and therefore, the defence could not claim they were surprised by the prosecution’s application to amend the charge.
“Therefore, the order of the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court judge in dismissing the prosecution’s application to amend the charge against Raja Petra is set aside.
“The Petaling Jaya Sessions Court will resume the trial on Thursday with the amended charge,” said judge Su.
Raja Petra, 58, who came to the court wearing a green shirt and black trousers, was accompanied by wife Mable @ Marina Lee. Present his lawyer, J Chandra.
He was charged with publishing a seditious article entitled Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell in the http://www.MalaysiaToday.com website at his house No. 5, Jalan BRP 5/5, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh, on 25 April 2008.
If convicted under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948, he can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed not exceeding three years or both.
The prosecution was represented by DPPs Ishak Mohd Yusof, Roslan Mat Nor and Farhan Read. — Bernama