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Witness absent, Raja Petra case postponed

PETALING JAYA, 18 Dec 2008: Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin’s sedition trial in the Sessions Court here became rather heated today when the prosecution’s fifth witness again failed to be present in court, forcing it to postpone hearing to 10 Feb next year.

Raja Petra’s counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, gave the prosecution a tongue-lashing when told that the witness, DSP Gan Tack Guan (the complainant) was attending a course in Taiwan and would only be available after 21 Dec.

Gan failed to be present the first time on 10 Nov because he was ill.

Gobind took to task Deputy Public Prosecutor Roslan Mat Noor over the matter claiming the prosecution was deliberately delaying the trial.

Gan was due to be cross-examined by the defence on both occasions.

Judge Rozina Ayob then interceded and called for a short recess to the proceedings to enable Roslan to get all material information on why Gan could not be present today.

Roslan later said Gan’s office would fax the pertinent details to the court and asked for a two-week adjournment.

Raja Petra, 58, the editor of the Malaysia-Today news portal, is alleged to have published a seditious article at his house in Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.

Titled Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell, it appeared on the website on 25 April.

He is charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years jail or both, if convicted.

Earlier, the court had allowed the prosecution to amend the charge to include the title of the article in it and Raja Petra, when asked to enter a plea, pleaded innocent and castigated the prosecution for the alleged “games they were playing”. — Bernama


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