Activist walks free after Court of Appeal sets aside sedition conviction

A three-member bench comprising Datuk Kamardin Hashim, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah also ordered the RM4,000 fine paid by Haris, to be returned to him. — Reuters pic
A three-member bench comprising Datuk Kamardin Hashim, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah also ordered the RM4,000 fine paid by Haris, to be returned to him. — Reuters pic

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 — Activist Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim walked out a free man today, after the Court of Appeal here allowed his appeal to set aside his conviction and RM4,000 fine for sedition.

A three-member bench comprising Datuk Kamardin Hashim, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah also ordered the RM4,000 fine paid by Haris, to be returned to him.

This was after Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar, deputy head (trial and appellate division) of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) informed the court that the AGC had accepted a representation made by Haris, and therefore conceded to the appeal.

Umar Saifuddin also told the court that the prosecution was withdrawing its cross-appeal against the RM4,000 fine imposed on Haris.

Haris was represented by lawyers Haijan Omar and Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court had on April 14, 2016, sentenced Haris to eight months in jail after finding him guilty of making seditious remarks in speeches at a post-13th general election (GE13) gathering at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Jalan Maharajalela, Dang Wangi, on May 13, 2013.

He had been charged along with PKR vice-president Tian Chua, former PAS member Tamrin Abdul Ghafar and activists Hishamuddin Rais, Adam Adli and Safwan Anang.

On April 5, last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld his conviction but substituted his custodial term with a RM4,000 fine or four months’ jail if payment was defaulted. — Bernama

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