Court Orders SMM Ex-Chairman To Enter Defence

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 – The Sessions Court here Friday ordered the former chairman of Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) Muhammad Safwan [email protected] to enter his defence against the charge of making a seditious speech on May 13 last year. Judge Norsharidah Awang held that the prosecution had successfully proven a prima facie against Muhammad Safwan, 25, at the end of the prosecution’s trial.

However, the court allowed his lawyer Noorazmir Zakaria’s application for a postponement, pending the prosecution’s appeal at the Federal Court in the case of Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. Nik Nazmi was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on a charge under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. Noorazmir submitted that his client’s case was closely linked to Nik Nazmi’s and that the Federal Court’s decision on May 27 would have a bearing on Muhammad Safwan’s trial.

Norsharidah then scheduled June 5 for the case mention. On May 29 2013, Muhammad Safwan pleaded not guilty to making a seditious speech to provoke the public into changing by illegal means the government which had been formed according to the law. Five other individuals facing the same charge are Chua Tian Chang better known as Tian Chua, 50, Malaysian Undergraduates Solidarity chairman, Muhammad Safwan [email protected], 24, PAS member Mohd Tamrin Abdul Ghafar, 63, and lawyer Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim, 55.

The five men’s trials are being heard separately. They were alleged to have committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at Number 1, Jalan Maharajalela, Dang Wangi here between 8.55pm and 11.15pm, on May 13 last year. All the accused were charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or up to five years imprisonment, upon conviction. Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas conducted the prosecution.