Monday, April 29, 2013

Warrant of arrest issued against Hindraf's Uthayakumar over sedition case

A warrant of arrest has been issued against Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Uthayakumar for not attending a Sessions Court hearing over a sedition charge brought against him.

When contacted, Uthayakumar, who is contesting for the Kota Raja parliamentary seat and the Sri Andalas state seat in the May 5 polls, said the warrant was issued despite him having a medical certificate (MC) from April 2 to May 17 exempting him from court appearance.

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"I have a medical certificate from Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) issued by a consultant neurosurgeon, for a prolapsed disc and a small tumour on my backbone," said Uthayakumar.

He added that the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) applied for a warrant of arrest in court Monday and the judge granted the application.

"The DPP said I had attended nomination day and was campaigning," said Uthayakumar, who was awaiting arrest at his operations centre in Taman Sentosa near here, when contacted.

He said the campaigning would go on even if he was arrested and he would still contest in the polls.

"My supporters will be carrying on with the campaigning and I will be contesting even if I am under detention," he added.

Meanwhile, DPP Azlina Rasdi said Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain issued the order in the presence of her and Uthayakumar's bailory.

DPP Azlina said the judge had asked the bailor why Uthayakumar's MC was not submitted between April 2 and May 17.

She said the bailor replied that the MC was received on April 4 but he was only told to submit it Monday.

DPP Azlina also applied to subpoena the doctor who issued the MC as the prosecution wanted clarification.

Uthayakumar, 49, and a former Internal Security Act detainee, was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Dec 11, 2007, with publishing an alleged seditious letter on the 'Police Watch Malaysia' website, dated Nov 15, 2007, addressed to then British prime minister Gordon Brown.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948, which upon conviction, carries a penalty of a fine or three years jail for the first offence.

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