KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Nov 2008: The Sessions Court is leaving it to the High Court to decide on whether or not to send blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s defamation case back to the Magistrate’s Court for trial.
Judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat said today he was not making any decision on the defence application because a similar application had been made to the High Court and it was only fitting to wait for the latter’s decision.
He then fixed 15 Dec 2008 for mention of the case.
Mohamad Sekeri was supposed to give his decision today on Raja Petra’s preliminary objection asking the court to send the case back to the lower court for trial on the grounds that the magistrate’s order in transferring the case was illegal, void and contrary to the law.
The magistrate had allowed the prosecution’s application to transfer the case to the Sessions Court on the grounds that it involved public interest.
Apart from making the preliminary objection, the Malaysia Today editor, through his counsel, Manjeet Singh Dhillon, also filed a notice of motion in the High Court on 25 Nov seeking an order to transfer the case back to the Magistrate’s Court or to refer it to the Federal Court on a constitutional issue.
The High Court has fixed 4 Dec for hearing.
Raja Petra is alleged to have defamed the deputy prime minister’s wife, Datin Rosmah Mansor, acting colonel Abdul Aziz Buyong and his wife, Colonel Norhayati Hassan, in his statutory declaration made at the Civil High Court in Jalan Duta here at 10.25am on 18 June.
If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail or a fine, or both, on each charge under Section 500 of the Penal Code.
This week was fixed for the trial but the court had to hear Raja Petra’s preliminary objection before proceeding with the trial. — Bernama