Court strikes out activist Haris Ibrahim’s sedition appeal

The Putrajaya Court of Appeal has struck out an appeal brought by political activist Haris Ibrahim concerning his sedition charge. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The Putrajaya Court of Appeal has struck out an appeal brought by political activist Haris Ibrahim concerning his sedition charge. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 9 — The Court of Appeal here today struck out an appeal brought by political activist Haris Ibrahim concerning his sedition charge.

A three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki said Haris could not bring the matter up for appeal to the Court of Appeal as the High Court’s decision was not a final decision.

The panel which also comprised Court of Appeal judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and High Court judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, had allowed the preliminary objection raised by deputy public prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim that the Court of Appeal could not hear the matter because it was not appealable.

Following this decision, the High Court decision on June 27, in dismissing Haris’ application to strike out the sedition charge is upheld.

The High Court had, on that day accepted the prosecution’s preliminary objection and ruled that under Section 30 of the Courts of Judicature Act (CJA) 1964, Haris should file his application to have his charge struck out at the Sessions Court.

However, Haris had filed an application in the High Court for a ruling that section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 was unconstitutional.

The prosecution took the position that any constitutional challenge in a criminal trial must begin in the trial court and it was for the Sessions court judge to determine whether there was constitutional issue to be referred to the High Court.

Haris was charged with allegedly uttering seditious words at a public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharaja Lela between 8.55pm and 11.15pm on May 13, last year.

In the proceedings today, his counsel, Gobind Singh Deo argued that the striking out application was not a constitutional challenge, thus Section 30 of the CJA was inapplicable.

Outside the court, Gobind said he had instructions from his client to bring the matter up to the Federal Court. — Bernama