KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20, 2013): The sessions court here has set Sept 13 for case management of the sedition trial of PKR vice-president Tian Chua and five other activists who were alleged to have committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) on May 13.
Judge Norsharidah Awang made the decision today after deputy public prosecutor Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas asked the court to consolidate all charges because all six accused had issued their speeches at the same place and time.
He said separate hearings would be inconvenient for the accused – Chua, student activists Adam Adli Abd Halim and Muhammmad Safwan Anang @ Talib, PAS member Mohd Tamrin Abdul Ghafar, as well as opposition activists Haris Ibrahim and Hishamuddin Rais.
Defence counsel Mohd Haijan Omar responded that each statement raised by the six must be first studied to ascertain if it was seditious. Haijan, who is representing Haris, said the time range stated was insufficient to apply for the accused to be tried collectively.
Meanwhile, Latheefa Koya, representing Chua, Adam and Hishamuddin, informed the court that her clients have applied to strike out the charges at the High Court.
On May 23, Adam, 25, pleaded not guilty to a charge of making a speech containing seditious remarks to incite the people to change the government in an illegal manner. Subsequently on May 29, Chua, whose actual name is Chua Tian Chang, together with Safwan, Ramrin, Haris and Hishamuddin pleaded not guilty to the same charge.
All were charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) which carries a sentence of up to five years’ jail or a maximum fine of RM5,000 upon conviction.
Elly Fazaniza, the Sun Daily