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Mat Sabu to know fate on March 31
Published on: Friday, February 17, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here Thursday fixed March 31 to decide on an appeal by the prosecution against former PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu's acquittal in connection with his remarks on the 1950 communist attack in Bukit Kepong.

Judge Lim Chong Fong set the date after hearing submissions from Penang Prosecution Unit chief Datuk Razali Che Ani and lawyers Aminuddin Zulkipli and Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, representing Mohamed, also known as Mat Sabu.

On July 8, 2015, Mohamed was acquitted and discharged by the Sessions Court here on two charges in connection with his remarks on the communist attack.

Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi made the ruling after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie at the end of the prosecution case.

In his submission, Razali said the Sessions Court judge had not fully evaluated the testimony by the prosecution witnesses in the case in coming to the decision.

He said the judge had erred in terms of law and facts in ruling that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case only by relying on the testimony of the seventh witness.

The judge, he said, had also erred for ruling that there was no element of slander in the remarks by Mohamed based of differing views by historians, when what the court should decide was whether the remarks by the respondent was subjected to the elements under Section 500 of the Penal Code.

Meanwhile, Aminuddin submitted that the Sessions Court judge had evaluated thoroughly the testimony of the witnesses produced by the prosecution.

The court also found that the witnesses did not listen for themselves the speech by Mohamed, but only knew about it after reading the Utusan Malaysia newspaper or watching the news on TV3, he added.

Mohamed was charged with having defamed 25 policemen and their family members who defended themselves in an attack by communist guerillas at the Bukit Kepong police station on Feb 23, 1950.

He was alleged to have committed the offence in a speech at an Islamic kindergarten of PAS in Padang Menora, Tasek Gelugor, Penang, between 10pm and midnight on Aug 23, 2011.

The charge, under Section 500 of the Penal Code, carries a two-year jail term or a fine, or both, on conviction.

Mohamad was also faced with an alternative charge of having defamed three policemen, namely marine constable Abu Bakar Daud and constables Jaafar Hassan and Yusoff Rono and their families at the same place, date and time. -Bernama

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