Nik Nazmi gets to contest GE14 after court retains fine over rally

Pakatan Harapan Youth chief, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad arrives at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya January 17, 2018. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Pakatan Harapan Youth chief, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad arrives at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya January 17, 2018. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 17 — The Court of Appeal has rejected Putrajaya's appeal to increase the penalty against Seri Setia Assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who pleaded guilty to violating the Peaceful Assembly Act in 2016.

The three-men panel unanimously ruled that the prosecutor had no merit to appeal for a higher fine, which would have made Nik Nazmi ineligible to contest in the 14th general election should the decision favoured the former.

“Even though you are an assemblyman you are not above the law,” Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki, the leading Judge, said in reading out the ruling.

“However, we unanimously rule that the appeal to increase the penalty by the prosecution has no merit”.

The panel also comprised Datuk Yaacob Md Sam and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

The Pakatan Harapan Youth chief was slapped with a RM1,500 fine by the Shah Alam High Court in 2016 after he pleaded guilty to violating Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act ― a provision that requires organisers to notify police about a planned gathering ten days prior.

Nik Nazmi who is also the Seri Setia assemblyman pleaded guilty to the charge that he had failed to comply with the provision when he organised the Black 505 rally.

The guilty plea was made after he had been charged with the same offence for the third time. He was first charged in 2013 but was subsequently acquitted by the Court of Appeal in 2014, which declared in its ruling Section 9(1) and Section 9(5) of the PAA to be unconstitutional.

Nik Nazmi speaking to the press after the Court delivered its ruling today said he welcomed the decision and hoped Putrajaya would not appeal.

“InsyaAllah there won't be an appeal and this would end here.

“Let's move forward. There are many more important cases that needs attention,” he said.

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