The prosecution today closed the case of Universiti Malaya (UM) law lecturer Azmi Sharom, who was charged with sedition in a news titled 'Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told', after calling four witnesses.
The trial was fixed for two days starting today, nevertheless all the prosecution witnesses completed giving their evidences on the first day of the trial.
The four witnesses were the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters (IPPKL) operations officer ASP Tay Chew Thwa, Malay Mail Online ( MMOL ) assistant news editor Zurairi Abd Rahman, MMOL news editor Justin Ong Hian Pang, and investigation officer Insp Mohd Izwan Paijan.
Judge Amernudin Ahmad ordered Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim and lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Azmi, to submit their arguments on Feb 19.
Earlier, Tay, 46, told the court that he lodged a police report against Azmi after reading the article published in MMO on Aug 15, 2014.
Tay, who was stationed at the Special Investigation Division (D9), said he lodged the report because he felt the statements in the article meant to appear to be disputing the decision of the court in the appointment of the menteri besar of Perak.
"When a law expert issues his statement, I am of the opinion the people will find it easy to believe (him), it is as if instigating the people not to comply with the decision of the court," he said when answering Suhaimi's question at the trial of Azmi's sedition case.
Azmi, 46, was charged with using seditious words over his comment in the news at the IPKKL CID in Jalan Hang Tuah here at 12.30pm on Aug 15, 2014.
Azmi, who is also University of Malaya Academic Staff Association president, was also charged with an alternative charge, namely, publishing seditious words concerning the same crisis, at the same time and place.
Both the charges, each under Section 4(1)(b) and Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum jail of three years or both, if found guilty.
Meanwhile, Zurairi, 31, who was then working as a journalist, said he contacted Azmi by telephone between 4pm and 7pm on Aug 11, 2014, to get his views on the Selangor menteri besar crisis.
He said other than Azmi, he also contacted lawyer Syahredzan Johan and another law lecturer.
“I wrote the article in the night and it was published on Aug 14, 2014," he said.