Syed Saddiq rapped by judge on court case posts

KUALA LUMPUR: Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has been advised by the High Court to be more mindful when commenting about his court case on his social media posts.

High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he could understand Syed Saddiq's predicament being in the public eye, but he must distinguish his positions when posting.

"In a way, I understand his predicament but he has to separate his hats, from that of being a politician and an accused," the judge said.

Justice Mohamed Zaini's advice came after Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin informed the court that Syed Saddiq had been posting on his Facebook account about his money laundering and misappropriation case.

The prosecutor said he was not applying for a gag order, but rather it was a reminder to the Muar MP, who is also president of Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).

"Just advice from someone more mature than the accused... I would like to remind the accused not to post about his defence on Facebook because this could be used against him," Wan Shaharuddin said here on Wednesday (Jan 19).

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who represented Syed Saddiq, said that being an MP, his client was asked about his court case by members of the public.

"My learned friend should understand that. The public would want to know what the accused has to say about his case.

"I'm of the view that there must be some form of flexibility (to speak about the case)," Gobind said.

Justice Mohamed Zaini told Gobind that as the lawyer, he could counsel Syed Saddiq on what to do with regard to his social media posts, from time to time.

Earlier, all four charges, which will be heard together in a joint trial, were read out again at the High Court as the matter was brought for mention for the first time after the cases were transferred to the higher court.

Syed Saddiq pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The court fixed March 24 for further case management.

Meanwhile, the trial has been fixed for a 22-day hearing on June 7-10, June 20-22, June 27-28 and July 4-8, July 13-15, and July 18-22.

On July 22 last year, Syed Saddiq claimed trial to a charge of criminal breach of trust involving RM1mil and another charge of misappropriation of monies involving RM120,000, said to be funds that belonged to his former party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

On Aug 5 last year, he also claimed trial to two counts of money laundering involving RM100,000, whereby the money was said to be proceeds from illegal activities.

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