Zaid fails in court bid to drop charge of making offensive speech against Najib

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today failed in a preliminary objection to drop the charge brought against him for making offensive remark in a speech which called on Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign as Prime Minister.

The case is set to be heard on June 20.

Sessions Court Judge Balqis Aini Mohd Ali set the date after rejecting the preliminary objection submitted on Jan 22 by Zaid’s counsel M. Puravalen.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin argued that the preliminary objection submitted by Zaid through his lawyer was premature as there was no elements which cannot be proved by the prosecution in the hearing of the case.

He said the charge was also clear and not confusing as claimed by the defence, and that it also complied with the laws under Section 153 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Wan Shaharuddin also said the prosecution would be calling five witnesses, including from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), who would prove that Zaid had committed the offence.

Zaid, 64, was accused of using an internet application and consciously uploaded the offensive speech titled ‘Rally Behind Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’ on his blog http://www.zaid.my with the intention of hurting the feelings of others, at the office of the Classified Crimes Investigation Unit in Bukit Aman here at 3.20pm Sept 3 last year.

Zaid, who is also former Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (KITA) president, uploaded the speech after delivering it at the Royal Selangor Club here on Sept 2.

He was charged under Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or jail up to a year or both, upon conviction. — Bernama