PUTRAJAYA, Feb 12, 2016:
The Attorney-General’s Chambers has dropped the sedition charge against University of Malaya (UM) law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, in a statement issued here today, said the decision was made after studying the testimony of the prosecution witnesses who testified in court.
“For the sake of upholding justice, and after studying the testimony of all the prosecution witnesses who testified in court, I, the Attorney-General as the prosecutor under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution, in using my discretion, decide to discontinue the charge under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948,” he said.
Apandi said the action to discontinue prosecution under the Sedition Act had been done before in the case involving Seputeh member of Parliament Teresa Kok Suh Sim.
He said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was entrusted to carry out prosecution fairly and with justice.
“In carrying out the function under the law, the practice of reviewing criminal cases which had been charged in Court, has and will continue to be carried out,” said Apandi.
Azmi, 46, was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with using seditious words in his comment over a news with the title ”Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.
He was charged with committing the offence at the office of the Criminal Investigation Department, Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters, Jalan Hang Tuah at 12.30pm on Aug 15, 2014.
Azmi, who is also the president of the Association of UM Academic Staff, was also alternatively charged with publishing the seditious words on the same crisis, at the same time and place.
Last Jan 14, the prosecution closed their case after calling four witnesses in the trial.
The trial was fixed for two days, nevertheless all the prosecution witnesses completed giving their evidences on the first day of the trial before Judge Amernudin Ahmad, who fixed Feb 19 for submission by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim and lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Azmi.
On Oct 6 last year, the Federal Court ruled that the Sedition Act was valid after dismissing an application by Azmi to challenge the constitutionality of the law.