(NST) - The Attorney-General has the sole discretion and absolute power in deciding who to prosecute.
Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badarudin said this when challenging Karpal Singh’s application to subpoena three witnesses, including A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail, in the sedition charge he is facing.Karpal was charged with uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak three years ago.
Noorin said the High Court could not order the A-G to come to court to explain why a person is charged or why someone is not.
“It is the A-G’s discretion and that cannot be questioned in this court,” the DPP added.
In January, the Court of Appeal allowed the public prosecutor's appeal to order Karpal to enter his defence on the sedition charge, reversing a High Court decision which had acquitted him.
Karpal, in his bid to strike out the sedition charge, is applying to subpoena Gani, former A-G Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He submitted that Gani’s evidence is necessary to show if there had been prosecutorial impropriety in charging him for sedition.
The veteran lawyer added that in 1993, speeches in Parliament on the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution for the setting up of a Special Court were also seditious in nature.
(Dr Mahathir had on Jan 18, 1993, moved for a motion to amend the Federal Constitution to have the immunity of rulers removed and to establish a Special Court to try monarchs in their personal capacity for criminal and civil wrongdoing.)
“Those who made the speeches then were not charged. Am I not in a like situation as they were?” he questioned, adding that the speeches then were ‘explosive and had seditious tendencies’.
“The PM must come to court to explain why there was a need for such speeches,” Karpal said, referring to Dr Mahathir.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah will deliver his decision on the subpoenas on Thursday.