KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 – Here is a chronology of court cases that drew public attention and of developments in the legal system that occurred in 2015:
Jan 13 – The Federal Court set aside the acquittal of two special action unit (UTK) personnel, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 38, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 43, for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and restored the decision of the Shah Alam High Court which had found them guilty of the murder and sentenced them to death.
Jan 21 – The Catholic Church’s weekly publication, Herald, was prohibited from using the word, “Allah” to refer to God as it lost its final legal recourse to get the Federal Court to re-hear its application for leave to appeal.
Feb 10 – The Federal Court dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s final appeal against his conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Anwar, a former member of parliament for Permatang Pauh, is currently serving his jail term in Sungai Buloh Prison.
March 6 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak filed a defamation suit against Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua Kiam Wee and Chan Chee Kong, owner of online portal Mediarakyat.net, over Pua’s remark about the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
March 18 – PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and the party’s secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali were ordered to pay RM200,000 in damages to former Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar after the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal over articles in relation to the “Sabah IC Project”.
March 18 – Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak filed a defamation suit against the managing director of Harakah, Dr Rosli Yaakob, and chief editor of the portal Harakahdaily, Taufek Yahya, over the 1MDB fund issue.
March 30 – Five men, including two brothers, were fined RM2,500 each, in default six months’ jail, by the Shah Alam Magistrate’s Court for rioting at Shah Alam Stadium during the first leg semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup between Malaysia and Vietnam on Dec 7, last year.
April 1 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told that the Pardons Board had rejected the petition for a royal pardon sought by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over the five-year jail sentence imposed on him after he was found guilty of having sodomised his former personal aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong rejected Anwar’s petition at a meeting of the board on March 16.
April 16 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor sued PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli and ‘Media Rakyat’ portal owner Chan Chee Kong over an article on oil subsidy.
April 30 – Restoran Hameed’s Corner in Section 16, Shah Alam was the first to be charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court for an offence under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) 2014.
May 12 – The government agreed to pay RM600,000 in damages to the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock as settlement in a negligence suit filed by the family against the government and 13 others over his death after both parties had agreed to settle the suit.
June 11 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor sued Taiping Member of Parliament Nga Kor Ming over an allegedly defamatory material posted by Nga on his Facebook page in March.
June 12 – The Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court sentenced four foreign tourists to three days’jail and fined RM5,000 each in default three months’ jail for committing an obscene act on Mount Kinabalu.
June 18 – The Federal Court dismissed leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling by PAS, DAP and PKR to nullify the 13th general election results in all 222 parliamentary constituencies.
June 30 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced watermelon seller Murad Halimmuddin, 49, to 18 years and his son, Abu Daud, 25, to 12 years’ jail after they pleaded guilty to their involvement in militant activities in the country.
July 3 – The Penang High Court ordered Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to pay RM500,000 to Teluk Air Tawar representative Datuk Jahara Hamid for defaming her with a “nenek rasis” (racist grandmother) label.
July 28 – Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa announced that the service of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General (AG) was terminated effective July 27 for health reasons and former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali appointed as the new AG, effective on the same date.
Aug 17 – Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir’s defamation suit against Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and 12 others was settled after Isma expressed its regret over the publication of the article which implied that she was the mastermind behind the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) Process (Comango).
Aug 25 – The Federal Court ruled that businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah was not entitled to receive RM20 million in commission fees from Merong Mahawangsa Sdn Bhd for his services in procuring the “crooked bridge” project in Johor Bahru.
Sept 3 – Three men were sentenced to life imprisonment and six strokes of the cane each by the Kuala Lumpur High Court after they were found guilty of kidnapping a Dutch boy in front of Mont Kiara International School three years ago.
Sept 7 – Former maid Nirmala Bonat was ruled to receive RM349,496 in damages for her civil claim against her former employer for injuries and pain she sustained while under their employment, 11 years ago, following a decision of the Court of Appeal.
Sept 8 – Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and seven others pleaded not guilty in three Magistrate’s Courts to a charge under the Peaceful Assembly Act with participating in the #KitaLawan street demonstration on March 28.
Sept 9 – Architect Mohd Syafrien Rasid, 27, and technician Mohamad Yusoffe Ishak, 27, were sentenced to two years’ jail each by the Kuala Lumpur High Court for attempting to give support to the IS militant group.
Sept 11 – Unemployed Nazirul Abidin Thalha, 24, was sentenced to 12 months’ jail by the Kuala lumpur High Court for possession of 15 banned terrorism-related reading materials.
Sept 21 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court quashed the Home Ministry’s decision over the suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily in legal action over articles on 1Malaysia Development Berhad published by The Edge.
Sept 28 – Six men were charged for the murder of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais while two others, including a military doctor, were accused of abetting the offence.
Sept 29 – Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo was sent to prison to serve his 12-month sentence after losing his final appeal against conviction for using his position to obtain land and a bungalow unit in Shah Alam, eight years ago.
Oct 5 – Former Melaka chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik pleaded not guilty in the Shah Alam Sessions Court to publishing a seditious post alleging that Selangor Raja Muda Tengku Amir Shah was an apostate in his Facebook account.
Oct 6 – The Federal Court in a case of Universiti Malaya associate law professor Dr Azmi Sharom who challenged the constitutionality of the Sedition Act, ruled that the Sedition Act 1948, a pre-Merdeka law, is a valid law and enforceable under the Federal Constitution.
Oct 8 – The Federal Court set aside the appellate court’s decision that ruled as invalid a provision in the Negeri Sembilan Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment criminalising Muslim men for cross-dressing.
Oct 8 – The Penang High Court rejected the state government’s application to quash the Home Ministry’s order which declared the Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) as an illegal organisation.
Oct 9 – Independent speaker Zulqarnain Ghaz Ab Ghani, 31, was sentenced to nine years’ jail by the Kuala Lumpur High Court for entering Syria to support terrorist acts last year.
Oct 12 – Former UMNO Batu Kawan division vice-head Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang Wen Chieh were charged in the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court with attempting to sabotage Malaysia’s banking and financial services.
Oct 20 – The Federal Court denied leave for three Gerakan members, Tuan Mat Tuan Wil, Soh Hoon Lee and Chung Mon Sieto to challenge the constitutionality of the Kelantan hudud law after ruling that they failed to show they were affected by the law.
Oct 21 – The Federal Court denied former MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and two others leave to appeal against the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) directive for the party to hold re-elections after ruling that the matter was academic. With the ruling, the decision of the RoS directive was mantained and Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam was confirmed as the valid MIC president.
Oct 27 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sued former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik over defamatory statements made against him.
Oct 28 – Former Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who was charged with defaming Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, was discharged and acquitted by the Ipoh Sessions Court after he gave an open apology to the prime minister.
Oct 30 – Indian national Shabir Ahmad Khas, 31, who slapped the imam of Masjid Negara during Friday prayers on Sept 18 was fined RM12,000 or three months’ jail by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court.
Nov 3 – Former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail stressed that Malaysia needed the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) to safeguard the country from any possible terrorism threat, “but it depends on how it is interpreted and implemented”.
Nov 3 – A man, Azlee Md Salleh, 30, who had to skip his wedding ceremony when he was detained for having a mobile phone containing an image of the Islamic State terrorist group’s flag, was sentenced to nine months’ jail for the offence by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Nov 3 – The organiser of Bersih 4.0 rally, Maria Chin Abdullah, pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with failing to give prior notice to the police before holding the assembly.
Nov 16 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court set March 16 next year to hear the defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against Harakah and Harakahdaily pertaining to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
Nov 18 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the charge of sabotaging the banking and financial services did not fall under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).
Nov 19 – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom filed a defamation suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against National Oversight and Whistleblowers Centre (NOW) director Akmal Nasir over the allegation of misappropriation of the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) funds to finance his trip abroad.
Nov 20 – Senior lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam, who had appeared in a controversial video tape over the appointment of judges, was barred from practising law by the Advocates and Solicitors’ Disciplinary Board (DB).
Nov 24 – The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court acquitted National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail on the two criminal breach of trust charges involving RM49.7 million and two charges over misuse of company funds.
Nov 25 – The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and death sentence of former tow truck driver Koong Swee Kwan for the murder of Arab-Malaysian Bank (AmBank) founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi.
Nov 26 – Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali reiterated that the late DPP Anthony Kevin Morais was not involved in the investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case and dismissed allegations that his murder was linked to the case.
Dec 7 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court struck out former Langkawi Wanita UMNO member Anina Saadudin’s suit over her expulsion from UMNO, ruling that it had no jurisdiction to hear her dispute in the party.
Dec 15 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court set Dec 31 to decide on UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and executive secretary Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh’s application to strike out former Langkawi UMNO member Anina Saadudin’s suit over a RM2.6 billion donation issue.
Dec 15 – Chief clerk Poziah Harun, 42, was sentenced to six months’ jail by the Kuala Lumpur High Court after she pleaded guilty to a charge of harbouring her terrorist husband.
Dec 16 – The Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld the six-year jail term and RM300,000 fine imposed on former Immigration director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don for accepting a RM60,000 bribe to approve visas for Bangladeshi workers after dismissing Wahid’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.