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High Court upholds Khalid Samad's acquittal

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today upheld the Sessions Court’s decision in acquitting and discharging Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad of making a seditious statement against the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS).

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the ruling after deputy public prosecutor Nur Ashikin Mokhtar informed the court that the prosecution did not wish to pursue the appeal against the Session Court’s decision in acquitting and discharging Khalid (photo) on June 7.

Therefore, Justice Mohd Nazlan dismissed the appeal.

“The court strikes out the appeal in view of the fact that the prosecution does not wish to pursue (the appeal) against the Sessions Court’s decision in acquitting the respondent (Khalid),” he said.

Earlier, lawyer Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, representing Khalid, told the court that he had handed over the representation letter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on March 18, for it to consider withdrawing the appeal.

On Aug 22, the court fixed today for mention of the prosecution’s application to withdraw its appeal against Khalid’s acquittal of making a seditious statement against MAIS.

Sessions Court judge Rohatul Akmar Abdullah on June 7, acquitted and discharged Khalid, who is also Shah Alam MP, of making a seditious statement on the executive powers of MAIS at the Parliament lobby area at 11.30 am, on June 17, 2014.

The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948, provides a jail term of not more than three years or a maximum fine of RM5,000 upon conviction.

Rohatul Akmar acquitted Khalid on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

She said the court found the words and paragraph in Khalid’s statement in question to be a suggestion to review MAIS’ authority.

"The suggestion and views were reasonable. Hence, it is not safe to order the accused to enter his defence. Therefore the court discharges and acquits him of the charge,” ruled the judge.

Twelve prosecution witnesses were called during the trial, which commenced on June 12, 2016. Khalid was with the opposition (at the federal level) then.

- Bernama

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