PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has sent the case involving activist Fahmi Reza to the Sessions Court, after ruling that there was a procedural error in the constitutional challenge against the charges.
In delivering the decision of the panel, Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said the case was not properly brought to the apex court, due to non-compliance with the Courts of Judicature Act.
The panel, which also included Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham also set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s order to have the matter brought to the Federal Court.
The prosecution had obtained the order on Feb 23 when they submitted a motion that only the Federal Court was empowered to address questions of constitutionality.This was in response to Fahmi’s application to the High Court to strike out his charges under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) on the grounds that the charges were unconstitutional.
The five-person Federal panel on Tuesday also fixed Dec 7 for case management before the Sessions Court.
Fahmi claimed trial in June last year to two criminal charges under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 involving a clown sketch of the Prime Minister.
One charge was before the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court and the other was before the Ipoh Sessions Court.
Both charges were under Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA for spreading content deemed to be “obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person”.
If convicted, Fahmi faced a maximum fine of RM50,000, a maximum one-year jail term or both.