KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — The High Court today rejected N. Surendran’s application to strike out his sedition charge after dismissing the PKR president’s argument that he had uttered the offending words in his capacity as a lawyer.
Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan told Surendran, who is also a lawyer, that he found the argument baseless as the offence under the Sedition Act 1948 does not contain “special circumstances”.
“Whether you are a lawyer or not, you are bound by the law that was passed by the Parliament regardless if it was passed many years ago,” he said when reading his judgment.
Surendran had in his application argued that the allegedly seditious comments he made on August 8, 2014, were uttered as he was emerging from the Federal Court in Putrajaya in his capacity as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer.
Nordin, however, allowed an interim stay on the decision after a request by Surendran’s counsel Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to appeal the judgement in the Court of Appeal.
The sedition case, which was originally set for trial on Monday, has now been postponed to July 27 pending the outcome of the appeal.
Surendran, 50, was charged with sedition in the Sessions Court on August 28, 2014 for a YouTube comment in which he allegedly criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for purportedly mounting a political conspiracy against former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Padang Serai MP is also a lawyer who had represented Anwar in the PKR politician’s second sodomy case.
When met outside the courtroom, Ambiga said the appeal will be filed on Monday.
Surendran’s appeal for the decision made on his application does not target his other sedition charge for a press release he issued titled “Fitnah II is flawed, defensive and insupportable” on April 14, 2014, also in relation to Anwar’s second sodomy case.