Court sets three days for Uthaya’s sedition case

(Malaysian Mirror) – A lawyer of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisor P Uthayakumar (pic) was engaged in a heated exchange on Monday with a Sessions Court judge, who chided him for ‘talking too much’.

At the end of the session, Judge Sabariah Othman set three days from Sept 28 to hear the sedition case against Uthayakumar.

p uthayakumar 3.jpgN Surendran, lawyer of the Hindraf leader, had applied for an adjournment of the sedition trial on the grounds that his client was away in London, where he is seeking medical treatment for what he said was a ‘rare heart condition.’

Surendran said he had submitted a letter to the court, dated July 29, which attached a copy of an appointment note for his client to be at the Spire Bushey Hospital in London on Aug 6.

The judge then asked the lawyer to give the exact date his client’s departure.

Surendran said he believed his client had left the country on July 25, prompting Sabariah to ask him to be specific as she needed to record the details.

Reacting to the judge’s request he said she was interrupting him.

Sabariah retorted: “I asked you the date. It is simple. You do not have to argue. I want to make notes. You are talking a lot (banyak bercerita).”

Surendran said he was told Uthayakumar left on July 25.

DPP applied for warrant of arrest

Lead prosecutor DPP Noorin Badaruddin applied for a warrant of arrest to be issued against Uthayakumar and also a show cause notice against his bailor.

She argued that the Immigration department had confirmed that Uthayakumar had gone to London on July 24.

Uthayakumar, 48, had on Dec 11, 2007 claimed trial to publishing a seditious letter on a website, which he addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He was said to have committed the offence at Menara Mutiara Bangsar in Jalan Liku at between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007.

On May 7, the former ISA detainee failed in his bid to get the court to strike out his sedition charge on the grounds that the consent signed by the Attorney-General was invalid.

His international passport was confiscated and an RM50,000 bail was imposed.

Uthayakumar filed a revision application on May 18 to get his passport back so that he could seek medical treatment abroad for his heart condition, and to reduce his bail.

On July 10, the High Court here revised the Sessions Court ruling, allowing Uthayakumar to get his passport back. It also lowered his bail from RM50, 000 to RM10,000.

Absent for the first time

DPP Noorin said Uthayakumar was aware of the trial dates and had violated a High Court order to attend his hearing after the release of his passport.

However, Surendran argued that he was the lawyer who handled the revision case at the High Court and that the passport was released unconditionally.

“The application for an arrest warrant is illogical as this is not a case where the accused had fled from the country and that we do not know his whereabouts.

“The court can query the accused at the next trial date if it is not satisfied with his absence. This is the first time that Uthayakumar has not attended his court case,” he said.

Surendran said he had sent a letter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers over the matter.

However, DPP Noorin said she had only received a letter from the defence on Monday, although the defence contended that a copy of the letter was accepted by its office here on July 31.

The parties later agreed for the trial dates to be set from Sept 28.