Prosecution wants court to reinstate jail term for student activist Safwan Anang

Student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang is appealing against his conviction and sentence on a charge of making seditious speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang is appealing against his conviction and sentence on a charge of making seditious speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, July 18 — The prosecution wants the Court of Appeal to reinstate the Sessions Court’s decision in sentencing the former chairman of a student group, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia, Muhammad Safwan Anang to 10 months jail for sedition.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Azmi Mashud submitted that the High Court had failed to consider the seriousness of the offence which he said warranted custodial sentence.

The prosecution is cross-appealing against the High Court’s decision on Dec 16, 2015 which substituted the 10 months jail term to RM5,000 fine, in default two years’ jail.

Safwan, 26, a former student activist, meanwhile, is appealing against his conviction and sentence on a charge of making seditious speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2013.

In the appeal, Muhammad Azmi argued that the High Court did not take the approach to make an overall evaluation on the impact of the speech allegedly uttered by Safwan.

He (Muhammad Azmi) said the overall context of Safwan’s speech, in its plain and ordinary meaning contained seditious tendency as he had intended to incite by telling the people to change the government through illegal means.

Safwan’s lawyer Ariff Azami Hussein submitted that the overall context of his client’s speech did not show that there was seditious tendency.

He said the Sessions Court judge did not address her mind on the overall context of Safwan’s speech which was a serious misdirection that warranted the Court of Appeal’s intervention.

He said there was no clear word that the assembly or the protest was to topple the government.

The Court of Appeal’s three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam and Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham reserved their judgment to a date to be fixed.

Justice Mohtarudin said they needed some time to consider the matter which was quite technical, adding that the court would notify both the defence and prosecution of the decision date. — Bernama

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