Sedition charge against Azmi Sharom dropped

KUALA LUMPUR: The sedition charge against University Malaya law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom has been withdrawn by the Attorney General. 

Attorney General Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali said the Chambers has been entrusted to carry out the prosecution in a fair manner and that the practice of reviewing criminal cases in court had and would continue.

“In the interest of justice, and after examining the evidence given by the prosecution’s witnesses in court, I am using my discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution and decide to drop the charges against Dr Azmi,” Apandi said in a statement on Friday.  

Article 145(3) gives the Attorney General the sole and exclusive authority to institute and conduct any criminal proceedings. 

Apandi added that a sedition case involving Seputeh MP Teresa Kok had been previously dropped.   

“I am grateful that common sense has prevailed and am thankful to my family, friends, lawyers and the general public for their support,” Azmi told the Star Online when contacted. 

Dr Azmi however said it was still not over as he had to go through the court process in the matter.

Dr Azmi, 46, had 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 have faced 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. 

The prosecution had on Jan 14 closed its case against Dr Azmi Sharom with the testimony of its last witness, investigating officer Insp Mohd Izwan Paijan.

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