PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — The Court of Appeal hearing of student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim’s appeal against his sedition conviction was postponed after a presiding judge recused himself from the case today.
At the start of today’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Faiza Mohd Salleh pointed out that Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki was on the panel that acquitted another student activist, Muhammad Safwan Anang, of a similar sedition charge last year.
“You’re putting me in awkward position. If you think (there is a) likelihood of bias... I withdraw myself,” Mohtarudin said in court.
The other two judges on the panel, Datuk Harminder Singh and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, then set for the hearing to resume tomorrow.
Adam is appealing his 2014 conviction in the Sessions Court, which found him guilty under the Sedition Act for a speech he made during a rally at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on May 13, 2013 and sentenced him to a year in prison.
This was changed to a RM5,000 fine in lieu of the custodial sentence following Adam’s appeal to the High Court. The prosecution is cross-appealing this decision.
Mohtarudin, together with Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam and Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham, acquitted Safwan on appeal. He had earlier been sentenced to 10 months’ jail and fined RM5,000 over a speech from the same May 13, 2013 event.