PETALING JAYA: The sedition charge against Malay Armed Forces Veterans’ Association president Mohd Ali Baharom was dropped because “the evidence was not there”, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pic).
There must be a full text of the recording (of the speech) made by him, Apandi said.
“To bring a case to court, you cannot just have ‘oh, somebody recorded it’.
“You must record the statement of the one who recorded it. The actual recording in this case was not complete, only a few seconds, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t the entire thing,” Apandi told The Malaysian Insider.
Mohd Ali, better known as Ali Tinju, was acquitted and discharged by the Sessions Court of using seditious words during a riot in Low Yat Plaza in July.
This came about after the Deputy Public Prosecutor withdrew the charge under the Sedition Act.
On whether he had told the police to “find the recording”, Apandi said the police “couldn’t find it”.
“As far as I am concerned, I, as the public prosecutor, go through whatever is presented to me, which is from the IP (investigation papers).
“From the IP, I found that there is insufficient evidence. That makes things difficult. I don’t look at this fellow as ‘Ali Tinju’, I don’t even know him.
“But if there’s not enough evidence, there’s just not enough evidence.”
Apandi also said that he was reviewing all cases under the Sedition Act and would pursue those with “99% case (chance) of success”.
Since taking up office some 100 days ago, Apandi said he had been vetting cases of “those who have been under investigation but no charges yet, and even those who have been charged”.
He said in reviewing the cases and possibly dropping some of them, including those against opposition members, would not mean the Act had been abused.
“This is all a matter of perception. And when you go to court, it’s up to reasonable men there. I try to put myself in the shoes of a reasonable man, because I’m the one who decides, ‘hey, can this hold up in court?’
“I have a goal, that is to reduce the number of cases; reduce the man hours spent on cases,” he said.
Apandi said the Sedition Act “is still relevant” and people should simply “watch what you say”.
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