PETALING JAYA, 23 April 2009: A warrant of arrest was issued against blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin by the Sessions Court here after he failed to turn up for his sedition trial today.
Judge Rozina Ayob also issued a show-cause notice to Raja Petra’s wife, Mable @ Marina Lee, who is his bailor. She was also not present in court.
Raja Petra’s counsel, J Chandra, told the court that he could not contact his client and was not informed on why the blogger failed to show up today.
However, he said, Raja Petra had posted his reason in his blog this morning, stating that he was in self-exile from Selangor as he had an issue with the Sultan of Selangor.
When asked by Rozina how he knew about the content of the posting, Chandra said he was informed by members of public this morning.
Raja Petra, 59, is charged with publishing a seditious article entitled Let’s Send Altantuya Murderers To Hell on the Malaysia Today news blog on 25 April.
Deputy public prosecutor Shahidani Aziz applied for the warrant of arrest as Raja Petra had failed to give valid reason for his absence from the trial, which was fixed for hearing today and tomorrow.
Rozina allowed the application and fixed 22 May for mention.
Meanwhile, Raja Petra’s lead counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, told reporters that he had been unable to contact Raja Petra for several weeks and was only aware about his absence via his blog this morning.
“I’m not sure what the actual reason for his absence was and I need to read his blog for the details since I could not contact him even this morning,” he said. — Bernama