The Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman MP Karpal Singh was fined RM4,000 by the High Court this Tuesday on the sedition charge of questioning the Sultan of Perak’s action to remove Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the chief minister of Perak in the year 2009. With the judgement, Karpal, 73, could be disqualified as member of the parliament for Bukit Gelugor should the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court uphold Tuesday’s decision. Members of Karpal Singh’s family, foreign observers and top opposition PR leaders were present in the court today to lend their support to the DAP leader.
Justice Datuk Azman Abdullah said that the court took into consideration Karpal’s medical condition of being unable to walk as a special mitigation factor in not imposing the custodial sentence sought by the prosecuting officer Noorin Badaruddin. Karpal’s lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo told the reporters later that he would be filing a notice of appeal this Tuesday. Karpal was charged with having said at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama on the 6th of February, 2009, that the removal of Mohammad Nizar and the appointment of Dr Zambry AbduKadir as the new chief minister by the sultan could be questioned in the court.
The High Court had on 11th June, 2010, discharged Karpal Singh without calling for his defence, but following an appeal by the prosecutor, the Court of Appeal on 20th January, 2012, ordered the MP to make his defence. Defending himself Karpal said that according to him it was his duty. “Our duty as MP has its own risk. MPs should not be afraid to speak up or otherwise not deserve to be MPs and state assemblymen,” he said.
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