Activist jailed eight months over seditious call to change government

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

Activist Haris Ibrahim is found guilty over remarks he made three years ago, urging for a change of power in Putrajaya. ― Picture by Choo Choy May - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/activist-found-guilty-of-sedition-over-call-to-change-government#sthash.6Ug9RiCA.dpuf

Activist Haris Ibrahim is found guilty over remarks he made three years ago, urging for a change of power in Putrajaya. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 ― The Sessions Court today sentenced activist Haris Ibrahim to eight months’ jail after finding him guilty of sedition over a speech he made three years ago where he urged for a change of power in Putrajaya.

Before sentencing, Sessions Court judge Shamsudin Abdullah said he had considered the need for the punishment to serve as a lesson to both Haris and the public.

“The court takes into account public interest so that security will not be threatened and will not cause public distress. The accused is sentenced to eight months’ jail starting from this day,” he said.

But the judge also allowed a stay of the execution of the sentence pending an appeal by Haris’ lawyers to the High Court, and fixed bail at RM10,000, an increase of RM5,000 from the current sum.

Haris was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act, which is punishable with a maximum fine of RM5,000 and a maximum three-year jail term.

 


Activist found guilty of sedition over call to change government
Source: The Malay Mail (in an earlier post)

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 ― The Sessions Court found activist Haris Ibrahim guilty of sedition today over a speech he made three years ago where he urged for a change of power in Putrajaya.

Sessions Court judge Shamsudin Abdullah said he found that Haris had crossed the legal boundaries with his remarks made on May 13, 2013.

“The court is also satisfied that the statement as a whole clearly shows the accused’s dissatisfaction and anger with the ruling government,” the judge said.

The judge said he was satisfied that Haris’s words were intended to call on Malaysians to change the government through unlawful means.

“The court finds the accused has failed to raise any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. The court finds the accused guilty and convicts him,” he added.

Haris was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act, which is punishable with a maximum fine of RM5,000 and a maximum three-year jail term.

Haris and four others ― activists Hishammuddin Rais and Muhammad Safwan Anang, politician Chua Tian Chang and Tamrin Ghafar ― were all charged in the Sessions Court on May 29, 2013 under the same section. Student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim was charged under the same law a day earlier.

On January 9 last year, the KL Sessions Court found Hishamuddin guilty of sedition for his 2013 speech and fined him RM5,000 in default of six months’ jail, but this January saw the High Court increasing it to a nine-month jail term.

On September 5, 2013, Safwan was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment after the court found him guilty of making a speech with seditious tendency at the same forum, but this was reduced to a RM5,000 fine last December.

Adam Adli was convicted on September 19, 2014 and sentenced to a one-year in jail term, but this February saw it reduced to a RM5,000 fine by the High Court.

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