Karpal sedition trial: Missing segment

(The Star) – An important paragraph in the transcript from a press conference video by DAP chairman Karpal Singh has gone “missing,” the High Court was told on Thursday.

The final transcript was submitted to court as evidence in Karpal’s trial where he was alleged to have made a seditious remark against the Sultan of Perak.

RTM reporter Aishah Ahmad Azam, 25, told the High Court that a technical glitch could have caused the paragraph to be omitted from the transcript.

Aisha, who is the fourth witness to be called, had transcribed the press conference held on Feb 6 with another colleague Afzan Sakina Sulaiman who was an intern with the TV station then.

“I did not cut the part. Afzan and I transcribed it together. And I don’t think it was Afzan (who omitted it). It could’ve been technical. So no one actually cut it,” she said when questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Mohd Akhir.

The paragraph contained a crucial element in which Karpal had expressed his legal opinion regarding the Perak constitutional crisis.

Karpal had said in the press conference: “I’ll make it very clear. I got nothing personal on the matter. It’s a constitutional point, and I think one which should be respected by all including the Ruler.”

Earlier, when questioned by Karpal’s lawyer Jagdeep Singh Deo, Aishah said she typed out the paragraph and did not know how it got omitted.

Before typing, she had written the missing paragraph in full in a notebook which she later used to base the transcript on. The notebook was tendered as an exhibit in court.

Jagdeep also pointed out that the paragraph appeared to be “cut out” of the transcript based on the misaligned position of the particular page number when compared with the rest of the numbers.

Aishah agreed to Jagdeep’s suggestion that the paragraph was significant as it explained Karpal’s stand that he had no personal agenda.

To a question, Aishah admitted that she did not fully understand the content of the press conference because of the legal jargon used.

She said she was told by a colleague that it was about Karpal wanting to sue the Perak Ruler.

Jagdeep: So it is not within your comprehension that he wanted to sue?

Aishah: There is one sentence that he used, “… we will sue the Sultan together…”

Jagdeep: For you, ‘we’ means ‘I’?

Aishah: We means ‘we’ or ‘us’.

Jagdeep: So he did not say ‘I will sue’. He said ‘We will sue’. Because you (specifically) said Karpal wants to sue.

Aishah: That was what I heard.

Jagdeep: Can you say that what you heard is wrong?

Aishah: But he was the one who said it (the statement to sue the Ruler).

Jagdeep: He didn’t say ‘I’.

Aishah: He could have said it on behalf of others.

Jagdeep: But he didn’t say ‘I will sue’. Correct?

Aishah: Yes.

Jagdeep: Do you agree with me that he never said he will sue?

Aishah: Yes, I agree.

She also agreed that there might be inaccurate words used in her transcript based on one error she made.

Aishah had used the word ‘rombakan’ (reshuffle) when she later agreed to Jagdeep’s suggestion that the word should have been ‘peruntukan’ (constitutional provisions) after viewing the video.

The hearing continues on Friday.