Karpal’s sedition appeal hearing in Federal Court on March 28

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who is Karpal’s daughter, said the main reason to proceed with the appeal was to clear Karpal’s name. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who is Karpal’s daughter, said the main reason to proceed with the appeal was to clear Karpal’s name. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, March 21 — The Federal Court will hear an appeal against the late DAP leader Karpal Singh’s 2016 sedition conviction on March 28.

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who is Karpal’s daughter, said the main reason to proceed with the appeal was to clear Karpal’s name.

“He allegedly made the seditious statement in 2009, 10 years (ago). It’s been a long time so we are hoping to get on with it,” she told reporters when met here at the Palace of Justice.

Sangeet said the appeal will be on the Court of Appeal’s 2-1 decision in 2016, where two judges from the three-man panel upheld a High Court decision that found Karpal guilty of sedition.

The High Court had on February 21, 2014 found Karpal guilty of sedition over his remarks on the Perak Sultan’s role in the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, sentencing him to a fine of RM4,000.

Karpal died almost two months later on April 17 in a car accident on the North-South expressway near Gua Tempurung, Perak.

On May 30, 2016, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed Karpal’s conviction while reducing the fine to RM1,800. Only one judge ruled that Karpal’s sedition conviction should have been set aside.

Karpal’s widow Gurmit Kaur, who is the administrator of his estate, is now substituting for him in the appeal to the Federal Court.

Sangeet said the Federal Court today heard two applications from Gurmit that were filed last week, in relation to Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s recent court affidavit.

“There were two motions today for hearing. One is for us to include new evidence which is Hamid Sultan’s affidavit.

“The second application is to amend our petition (of appeal). In the event the first one is allowed, then we include that as a ground for appeal in the petition,” she said.

Sangeet said the Federal Court, however, decided against allowing the affidavit to be part of the appeal.

“The court didn’t agree with us, the court felt that the introduction of Hamid Sultan’s affidavit was premature at this stage for several reasons...there is a pending police investigation, pending RCI,” she said, alluding to a bid in the High Court in a separate case for parts of the affidavit to be expunged.

Sangeet said the Federal Court also ruled that Karpal’s legal team could still come back later if the subsequent findings on the affidavit are favourable to Karpal.

“The appellant however took the position that we would like to appeal to proceed next week,” she said.

The five-man panel at the Federal Court today was chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Seri David Wong Dak Wah and composed of Tan Sri Ramly Ali, Datuk Rohana Yusuf, Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

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