PUTRAJAYA (Oct 11, 2013): The Court of Appeal here today allowed Batu member of Parliament Tian Chua’s application to have the trial on his sedition charge with regard to his alleged statement on the Lahad Datu intrusion, be stayed pending disposal of his appeal.

Tian Chua, 50, is appealing to the Court of Appeal against a High Court decision on Sept 26 to dismiss his application to strike out his sedition charge.

A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam granted Tian Chua the stay order.

Tian Chua’s counsel Latheefa Koya applied to stay the trial in the Sessions Court which has been fixed for Oct 16 and 17, pending disposal of his (Tian Chua’s) appeal. Deputy Public Prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim did not object to the application.

Tian Chua, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president, is facing a charge of allegedly making statements that the intrusion in Lahad Datu was a planned conspiracy by Umno to divert attention and to frighten the people.

Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, is alleged to have committed the offence at Fraser Business Park, Jalan Metro Pudu, off Jalan Yew, Kuala Lumpur at about 11am on March 1, this year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge on March 14, this year.

Tian Chua was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 and punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act which carries a fine of RM5,000 or three years’ jail or both for a first-time offence and five years’ jail for a subsequent offence if found guilty.

On April 12, he filed the application to have his sedition charge struck out alleging that the charge was unlawful, malicious or with mala fide, politically motivated and an abuse of the court process.

High Court judge Datuk Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah held that charge as it stood was not wrong in law. – Bernama