SEREMBAN: A primary school teacher who was sentenced to five years' jail for allegedly leaking UPSR exam papers almost five years ago has had his conviction set aside by the High Court here.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin, in reversing the decision of the Sesions Court delivered in February last year, said his judgment was based on the grounds that the accused was not allowed to recall two important witnesses during trial.
"This court finds that the accused had been denied his right to a fair trial after the judge refused to allow the accused to resummon two witnesses.
"After hearing submissions from both parties, this court sets aside the conviction on the grounds that the accused has been prejudiced against," he said.
The Sessions Court had in February last year found L. Subbarau @ Kamalanathan guilty of five counts of having images of leaked UPSR exam papers in his mobile phone and sentenced him to a five-year jail term for each offence.
He was ordered to serve the sentence concurrently.
Subbarau, 40, was charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972, which carries a jail term of between one and seven years.
The charges against him had to do with images of leaked papers involving five subjects: Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Bahasa Tamil (comprehension), Bahasa Tamil (writing) and Science.
He allegedly committed the offences between Sept 8 and Sept 16, 2014, when the primary Year 6 examination was in progress.
Initially, Subbarau was acquitted by the Sessions Court in 2015 and the decision was upheld later by the High Court.
But on May 25, 2017, the Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 majority ruling, ordered Subbarau to enter his defence on the ground that the prosecution had established a prima facie case.