Karpal’s sedition trial begins

Written by Yong Min Wei, The Edge  

The sedition trial of DAP chairman Karpal Singh began at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today with the first witness grilled by the defence team to the extent he could not tell the court the charges against the veteran lawyer.

Utusan Malaysia reporter Mohd Nizam Mohd Yatim had a tough time answering a barrage of questions from defence counsel Jagdeep Singh Deo in relation to a four-page press statement by Karpal on Feb 6 in which the witness failed to give the correct meaning of "ultra vires" and could not produce the exact time and day the press conference by the veteran lawyer was held.

"If your meaning of ultra vires means to insult, then do you know how much trouble you have caused?" said Jagdeep.

The defence further questioned Nizam whether there was anything seditious or element of threat that was in the press statement, compelling the witness to state whether he understood that the press conference was called in relation to the constitutional conflict in Perak.

"I'm not sure. I only report and don't give views," answered the 38-year-old reporter when pressed by Jagdeep in relation to the Perak impasse.

Lead DPP Datuk Kamaludin Md Said protested Jagdeep's tone of voice when questioning the witness, prompting Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah to have the defence counsel to slow down and stating it was the first time Nizam took the witness stand.

While answering "I do not know" to many of Jagdeep's questions, Nizam however agreed with the defence that Karpal did not, during the press conference at his legal office in Pudu, utter he would summon the Sultan of Perak.

Karpal is charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for saying that a ruler could be sued for his role in removing the menteri besar.
Kamaludin, Azlina Rasdi and Melissa Mohd Akhir represented the prosecution while the eight-men defence team is led by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.