KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah election petitioners for Sipitang parliamentary seat were shocked when the Election Court struck out the case when they applied for an adjournment to a later date.
The petitioner and lawyers are now planning to appeal after Kuching-based judge Azahari Kamal Ramli struck out the case on the seat held by former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s son, Yamani Hafez (pic).
Petitioner Noor Hayaty Mustapha’s lead counsel, Chung Jiun Dau said when the trial started, they had asked the court if they could change the dates to early May as they received the discovery order documents at 7pm on Friday.
“We wanted to complete our documents and witnesses for this discovery order and asked the court if we could postpone the trial dates as this was also discussed with the defendants,” he said.
Chung said Azahari then called for a stand down while he decided on whether to adjourn the case.
“When we returned, the judge struck out the case,” Chung said.
He explained that the other necessary documents and witnesses were ready, except for the documents obtained during the inspection of several election related forms at the Election Commission (EC) on Friday.
Yamani’s lawyer, Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, said the judge denied the adjournment application on the ground that the petitioners had ample time to prepare the documents needed for the trial to proceed.
Tengku Fuad added that the judge had given ample time for the documents to be ready and handed to the court and if the petitioners could not utilise the time given, there was no need for the trial to go on.
He said the judge also said the inability to produce the documents was seen as an abuse of the court’s process.
Yamani won the Sipitang parliamentary seat with a 852-vote majority, polling 12,038 votes against Warisan’s 11,186 and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah’s 1,547.
Meanwhile, the hearing for the Kimanis parliamentary seat election petition has started.
Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang, who lost the seat to Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Yamani’s uncle, in GE14, filed the petition.
Anifah won with a 156 vote majority, garnering 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786.