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Uthayakumar jailed as brother gets senatorship


KUALA LUMPUR: Several hours after P. Waythamoorthy was sworn in as a senator, elder brother Uthayakumar was jailed two years and six months by the Sessions Court here.

Hindraf leader Uthayakumar had refused to submit his defence over a sedition charge.

Judge Ahmad Zamzani Zain yesterday ruled that Uthayakumar had failed to raise reasonable doubt to the accusations that the letters he addressed to the a former British Prime Minister six years ago amounted to sedition.

He found Uthayakumar guilty of the charge, adding that his actions under the Seditious Act 1948 were a serious offence.

“Would you like to say anything in mitigation, though you have so far taken the stand not to submit, in protest?” the judge asked Uthayakumar before handing out the sentence.

Uthayakumar had earlier refused to submit his defence, claiming that it was in protest over how Indians in Malaysia were being treated.

Uthayakumar and Waythamoorthy were active leaders in the Hindraf movement.

However, for the general election, they took opposing political leanings with Waythamoorthy turning Barisan Nasional-friendly.

Uthayakumar, 50, yesterday remained stoic when the sentence was passed and chose not to apply for a stay of execution. He was sent to Kajang Prison.

M. Manoharan, who represented Uthayakumar in the trial, said he didn’t received any instruction to apply for an appeal.

The former Internal Security Act detainee, was charged on Dec 11, 2007, with publishing a seditious letter on the “Police Watch Malaysia” website, dated Nov 15, 2007, addressed to then-prime minister of Britain, Gordon Brown.

He made the declaratory application (to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional), in a bid to have the charge against him under the Act revoked and the prosecution in the proceedings in the Sessions Court struck out.

DPP Noorin Badaruddin said it was clear that Uthayakumar had made baseless allegations against the Government.

“The words used by Uthayakumar such as ‘mini genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ at an international level gives the impression that grave crimes and racial oppression were committed,” she added.

   

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