Sedition charges against Surendran and activist Lawrence Jayaraj withdrawn

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Lawyer N. Surendran and activist Lawrence Jayaraj Edwin John, who both faced sedition charges in connection with the Federal Court's decision in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's second sodomy charge, were acquitted and discharged of their charges by the Sessions Court here on Monday (Aug 27).

Judge Emelia Kaswati Mohamad Khalid freed Surendran, 52, of the charge after deputy public prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir informed the court that the prosecution was withdrawing the charge against him.

"As such, the court acquits and discharges the accused of the charge," said Emelia Kaswati when the case came up for management Monday.

Surendran, represented by lawyer Latheefa Koya, was charged with making seditious remarks relating to Anwar's second sodomy case in a YouTube video at the Palace of Justice in Precinct 3, Putrajaya, between 2pm and 4pm on Aug 8, 2014.

Jayaraj was also acquitted and discharged of publishing a seditious article on the Federal Court's decision in Anwar's second sodomy case by judge Rohatul Akmar Abdullah after deputy public prosecutor Kamarul Aris Kamalludin informed the court that the prosecution was withdrawing the charge.

Earlier, Surendran, who represented Jayaraj, asked the court to acquit and discharge his client if the prosecution had no intention of pursuing with the case, which was fixed for mention Monday.

"The prosecution had prior to this withdrawn the sedition case involving a few individuals, including myself. The sedition cases involving lawyer Eric Paulsen and cartoonist Zunar were also withdrawn, last Aug 15 and July 30, respectively," he said.

Jayaraj, 49, who is a car salesman, was charged with posting the article on Facebook at the office of the Classified Crimes Investigation Unit, Criminal Investigation Department, Level 2, Tower 2, Bukit Aman police headquarters here at 4.45 pm on Feb 12, 2015.

The charges against Surendran and Jayaraj were made under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948, which carries a fine of up to RM5,000 or maximum three year imprisonment or both, if found guilty. – Bernama

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