PUTRAJAYA, March 29 — The Federal Court’s posthumous acquittal today of late former DAP chairman Karpal Singh of sedition was an emotional legal and moral victory for his widow Gurmit Kaur.
Gurmit noted that Karpal’s vindication comes just 20 days before the fifth anniversary of his death on April 17, 2014.
“He’s gone for five years. His name cleared, after five years,” she told reporters immediately after the decision was delivered.
“I’m just preparing for his fifth anniversary and I know he’s now going to rest in peace.
“Justice has been seen. I’m very happy. And I thank the team, my children, especially, for having cleared his name, and the courts, thank you very much,” the 70-year-old said.
Gurmit, who was earlier seen wiping away tears of joy inside the courtroom, was also struggling to contain her emotions when she spoke to reporters.
Two of Gurmit’s children, Ramkarpal Singh and Sangeet Kaur Deo, were part of a team of about 13 lawyers appearing for Karpal during the hearing today.
Standing next to his mother outside the courtroom, Ramkarpal highlighted that Karpal had maintained his innocence from day one, despite previous convictions from the lower courts.
Ramkarpal stated that Karpal’s remarks linked to the Perak Sultan's dissolution of the Perak State Assembly back in 2009 was something his father felt he needed to do as a member of Parliament and in his official capacity as a representative of the people.
Karpal, who was a lawyer, had in the past asserted that he was only giving his legal opinion and was merely fulfilling his duty as MP to explain the Perak political crisis to the public.
Ramkarpal then said he was very pleased with the court’s decision today.
“We are very happy with the decision of the Federal Court today.
“We welcome it and if my father was alive today, I think he would be obviously very happy. And I think justice has been served for today and we are very thankful,” he said.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, PKR's Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang were also seen attending the hearing.
On February 21, 2014, the High Court decided that Karpal was guilty of sedition over his 2009 remarks in relation to the Perak Sultan, sentencing him to a fine of RM4,000.
On May 30, 2016, the Court of Appeal upheld Karpal’s conviction in a majority decision, with one of three judges ruling that Karpal’s sedition conviction should have been set aside.
The Court of Appeal however reduced the fine to RM1,800.