Masjid Tanah election petition: Court fixes Oct 27 to deliver decision

MELAKA: The Election Court has fixed Oct 27 to deliver its decision on the petition filed to challenge the 15th General Election (GE15) result for the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat.

Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar made the decision on Monday (Sept 25) after the petitioner asked the court to conclude the proceedings after being unable to call key witnesses for the trial.

Petitioner’s lawyer Rosfinah Rahmat said the arrest warrant against Armada Bersatu chairman Akmal Zahin Zainal Zahir was not handed over to the individual concerned despite multiple attempts by the police, the latest of which was on Sept 11.

"Akmal Zahin, according to video evidence, was seen handing over the money and he is our important witness. As we could not execute the arrest warrant today, we have closed the case.

"The court then fixed three important dates, namely the parties’ joint submissions on Oct 9, the reply to the submissions on Oct 16 and the final decision on Oct 7,” she told reporters after the court proceedings here Monday.

On Feb 7, the Melaka High Court dismissed the preliminary objection to the election petition, filed by Barisan Nasional candidate Abdul Hakim Abdul Wahid to nullify the result of the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat, which was won by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin in the 15th General Election.

The court also ordered the petitioner to pay costs of RM20,000.

However, the Federal Court had ordered the election petition filed to challenge the GE15 result for the Masjid Tanah parliamentary constituency to be sent back to the High Courts for a full hearing of the merits.

Meanwhile, lawyer Mohd Faizi Che Abu, representing Mas Ermieyati, said the burden of calling witnesses was on the petitioner as the party alleged that Akmal Zahin was involved in corrupt practices during the election campaign.

"It is unfair to ask Mas Ermieyati to call witnesses in favour of the petitioner. According to the law, whoever makes the allegations must prove them.

"In this case, they have accused Akmal Zahin of giving money (bribery) and alleged Yang Berhormat (Mas Ermieyati) of holding a banquet as a bribe. Therefore, he (the petitioner) must prove that,” he said. - Bernama

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