Updated at 7:27pm, 22 Oct 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Oct 2009: The Magistrate’s Court today sentenced Batu Member of Parliament Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, to six months’ jail and fined him RM3,000 for injuring a policeman almost two years ago.
Magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu allowed a stay of execution pending settlement of Tian Chua’s appeal to the High Court.
Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution provides that a person is disqualifed from being an MP if he [or she] has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to not less than one year’s jail or fined not less than RM2,000, and “has not received a free pardon”.
“In passing sentence, the court did not consider any special treatment for [Chua] as an MP, and that he could lose his electoral seat,” said Mohd Faizi.
He said the court was more inclined to believe and take into consideration the testimony of police constable Mohd Rosyaidi Anuar, 22, that he was injured by Chua during the incident on 11 Dec 2007.
He said Chua’s testimony, in his defence, was inconsistent and contradictory, thus making the court not accept it as the truth.
Mohd Faizi said the video recording of the incident clearly showed that the police had discharged their duty accordingly.
“The defence showed a video recording of the incident during the defence hearing, but the video clip was more in favour of the prosecution,” he said.
He said the court could not accept Chua’s testimony that his arrest by the police was wrong, because the video recording clearly showed him being reluctant to hand over his identity card and ignoring a police order to stop his vehicle.
“The accused’s reasoning that his reluctance to get out of the vehicle was because it would cause the people to gather around him and make the public assume that he had sparked off the illegal gathering could not be accepted by the court,” he said.
In mitigation, defence counsel Harjit Singh said if the court were to impose a jail sentence, the people would be faced with a by-election, which would make things difficult.
He also cited Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, which provides for an MP to be disqualified if he [or she] has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to not less than one year’s jail or fined not less than RM2,000.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria argued that the court should give priority to public interest then, and that it also involved an individual’s obedience to the laws of the country. He said Chua should have respected and obeyed the police instructions to offer co-operation, and the incident clearly showed that he had ignored them, and the court should impose a severe penalty. — Bernama