Uthayakumar’s trial postponed to April 28 (Update 3)

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 03 Feb 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar’s sedition trial has been set for three days from April 28 after he got a court order to refer him to a hospital for his diabetes treatment.

Sessions Court Judge Sabariah Othman on Tuesday allowed an application by the Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee through his lead counsel M. Manogaran.

However, Sabariah said Uthayakumar would be referred to a government hospital and not the private medical centre he had earlier requested.

“I order the police to bring him to the government hospital for his treatment as soon as possible,” she said.

When Manogaran applied for access to be given to meet Uthayakumar at the hospital, Sabariah said she would not issue such an order.

The judge also said she would decide on the trial date over another application by Uthayakumar to drop the sedition charge on the grounds that the Attorney-General’s consent was null and void.

Uthayakumar had on Dec 11, 2007 claimed trial to publishing a seditious letter on the Police Watch website, which was addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He was said to have committed the offence at Menara Mutiara Bangsar in Jalan Liku between Nov 15, 2007 and Dec 8 that year.

If convicted, he can be fined a maximum of RM5,000 or jailed up to three years or both under Section 4(1) (c) of the Sedition Act 1948.

At the court proceedings earlier, Manogaran applied for his diabetic client to be referred to a private hospital of his choice saying that Uthayakumar was in pain from a swollen left leg.

“Four days ago, the accused had applied to an officer for a doctor to examine his condition, but was not allowed to do so (until Monday).

“The accused was blindfolded when he was brought to Kuala Lumpur on Monday and his foot accidentally hit a stone, making the pain worse,” he said.

Lead prosecutor DPP Raja Rozela Raja Toran said she had no objections to the application as it was related to his health.

She said the prosecution would also supply the accused’s medical records to the court at the next trial date.

However, DPP Raja Rozela said the prosecution was ready to proceed with the sedition trial and intended to call five witnesses.

Earlier, Uthayakumar smiled and waved to his supporters who had packed the public gallery when he was brought to the courtroom at 10.55am. He was immediately hugged by his mother G. Kalaivani, 65; younger sister P. Waytha Nayagi, 42, and fiancee S. Indradevi, 38.

Speaking to reporters later, Uthayakumar said he had been a diabetic for 14 years.

“My foot is darkening which shows acute diabetes. It is spreading to my toes. It can be chronic and carries the risk of amputation.

“So, today (Tuesday) I asked my lawyers to get a court order so that I can get medical attention at a private hospital,” he said.

Uthayakumar also said that he had informed the ISA advisory board that only he and his brother P. Waytha Moorthy, now in self-imposed exile abroad, were responsible for Hindraf.

He said the three other lawyers detained with him under the ISA -- M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau and R. Kenghadharan -- were mere legal advisers and not involved in the day-to-day operations of the outlawed movement.

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