Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Uthayakumar to serve time

P. Uthayakumar threatened peace and national security, according to the deputy public prosecutor

He sent seditious letter against the govt to former British PM

KUALA LUMPUR: LAWYER P. Uthayakumar was sentenced to 21/2 years imprisonment by the Sessions Court, here, yesterday after being found guilty of writing a letter of a seditious nature against the government to former British prime minister Gordon Brown six years ago.

Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain said the defence had failed to dent the prosecution's case.

He said the court viewed Uthayakumar's act as a serious offence under the Sedition Act 1948.

According to the amended charge, Uthayakumar wrote the seditious letter to Brown while the latter was serving as Britain's prime minister at No. 10 Downing Street in London.

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He committed the offence in Jalan Toman 7, Kemayan Square, Seremban, Negri Sembilan, on Nov 15, 2007.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin requested the court to impose a custodial sentence on Uthayakumar as the provision for a fine under the charge was not adequate.

"The allegations hurled at the ruling government by the accused were unfounded," she said.

"We are not saying that the government cannot be criticised but the offence committed by the accused can threaten peace and national security."

Noorin also said the use of words such as "mini-genocide", "ethnic cleansing" and "Islamic extremist" had portrayed the country as promoting atrocity and racial oppression.

"His statements had crossed the line from lawful criticism to an act tantamount to undermining national unity, which we cannot condone."

Uthayakumar, who was represented by counsel M. Manoharan, did not mitigate for a reduction of his sentence. Three prosecution witnesses testified at the trial, which began in 2009.

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