KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Hishamuddin Md Rais was fined RM5,000 by the Sessions Court here after he was found guilty of uttering seditious words at a forum on the May 13 riots.
Sessions judge Azman Mustapha also instructed Hishamuddin, 63, to be sent to prison for six months if he failed to pay the fine.
In delivering his verdict, Azman agreed with Hishamuddin’s counsel Syahredzan Johan that his client’s action did not influence the audience to stage street protests.
“Although Hishamuddin uttered the fiery words at the forum, his speech did not cause violence and street protests,” he said yesterday.
The judge also said after considering Hishamuddin’s words and his age, he agreed that public interest would not be served if he sent the accused straight to prison.
Hishamuddin was accused of saying the seditious words at the forum held at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assmbly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela here between 8.55pm and 11.15pm on May 13, 2013.
He was charged with former Batu Berendam MP Tamrin Ghafar, PKR vice-president Tian Chua, student activist Adam Adli and fellow activists Haris Ibrahim and Safwan Anang.
The trials of all the accused were conducted separately after they denied the charge.
In pleading for leniency, Syahredzan asked the court to only impose a bond on his client in view of his age.
He added that jailing Hishamuddin would also affect him physically.
DPP Kee Wei Loon submitted that the court should not be bound by the decisions made by other Sessions Courts.
“I urge the court to impose a jail sentence to highlight the seriousness of the case,” he said.