Prosecution wraps up case in Azmi Sharom sedition trial

KUALA LUMPUR:  The prosecution has closed its case in the sedition trial of Universiti Malaya law lecturer Prof Dr Azmi Sharom with the testimony of its last witness, investigating officer Insp Mohd Izwan Paijan.

With this, Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim informed Sessions Court judge Amernudin Ahmad that the prosecution has closed its case after Dr Azmi's counsel Gobind Singh Deo completed his cross examination of Insp Mohd Izwan on Thursday.

Insp Mohd Izwan, 34, was the fourth prosecution witness called to the stand in the trial of the associate professor following the resumption of the trial after Sessions Court judge Amernudin Ahmad rejected Dr Azmi's application for a stay of the proceedings.

Other witnesses called were operation officer Asst Supt Tay Chew Thwa, 46, who was attached to the Special Investigation Division of the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters, Malay Mail Online news editor Justin Ong Hian Pang, 38, and its assistant news editor Zurairi Abd Rahman, 31.

On Wednesday, High Court judge Justice Ab Karim Ab Rahman dismissed the lecturer's application to transfer his seditious case to higher court on the grounds that it was not an unusual and exceptional case to be transferred to the High Court.

Justice Ab Karim also said no unfair and inequitable circumstances would occur to the applicant if his trial was to proceed in the Sessions Court.

Dr Azmi, 46, claimed trial on Sept 2, 2014 to making seditious comments in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.

The article was published on Aug 14, the same year.

Dr. Azmi, who is a columnist with The Star was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act and if convicted, he could face a maximum fine of RM5,000, a maximum of three years jail or both.

On Oct 6 last year, a five-member panel of the Federal Court ruled that the Sedition Act was valid and therefore Dr Azmi had to stand trial for his charge.

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