Sedition charge against Uthayakumar stays

(Bernama) – The sedition charge against Hindraf legal advisor P. Uthayakumar stays after the High Court today dismissed his appeal against the rejection of his preliminary objection to the charge.

Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah ruled that although Uthayakumar's signature was not on the allegedly seditious letter appended to the charge, it could still be tried.

The argument by Uthayakumar's counsel, N.Surendram that the charge did not have any basis could only be raised during the trial to show the prosecution's failure to make out a prima facie case or to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt, he said.

Uthayakumar, 46, who is now under detention under the Internal Security Act had appealed against the Sessions Court's rejection of his preliminary objection that the charge against him was defective.

He is charged with publishing a letter with seditious contents on the Police Watch Malaysia website at http:// at Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Bangsar between Nov 15 and Dec 8 last year.

The letter dated Nov 15 last year was from Hindraf and addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at No. 10 Downing Street, London.

The charge under the Sedition Act carries a maximum RM5,000 or three years jail, or both, on conviction, with five years jail for a subsequent offence.

Earlier, Surendran told the court that Uthayakumar did not want to be present in court because he was unhappy with the police treatment but Azman said there was no proof of this and the trial would proceed on April 28.

Deputy public prosecutor Farhan Read appeared for the prosecution.