Court acquits Siti Kasim

KUALA LUMPUR: The Magistrate’s Court acquitted and discharged lawyer-cum-activist Siti Kasim who was charged with obstructing a Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) officer from discharging her public duty during an event at a hotel in 2016.

Magistrate Tawfiq Affandy Chin made the decision after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish the case against Siti Kassim, whose real name is Siti Zabedah Kasim, 57, under Section 186 of the Penal Code at the end of the prosecution’s case.

Siti Kasim was charged with resisting arrest by Jawi officer Siti Nor Jihan Saleh @ Md Ghazali at a hotel here at 10.30pm on April 3,2016.

In his decision, Tawfiq said the charge against the accused was flawed because the form of obstruction was not specifically stated.

“Apart from that, from testimony during the trial, the prosecution witness agreed that the accused cooperated and there was no evidence to show that the accused had obstructed the Jawi officer from carrying out her duties during the dinner at the hotel, ” he said.

Tawfiq also said Siti Kassim was merely protecting her client when questioning the absence of an arrest warrant to conduct the raid.

“In this case, Jawi should have conducted its operation according to the prescribed procedure, which is to produce the arrest warrant.

“The raid was conducted for the offence of men acting like women which is an offence where one cannot be arrested without a warrant. However, the offence, according to syariah crime, is an offence that allows arrest.

“Although the raid was based on public information, Jawi should have conducted the operation courteously.

“The court finds that the event was conducted properly.

“Therefore, the court acquits and discharges the accused of the charge without having to call for her defence, ” said Tawfiq.

The dinner was supposedly a closed-door event and involved the transgender community. — Bernama

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