Tuesday, August 20

Zulhaidah gets discharge but not acquitted

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SOLIDARITY: Zulhaidah (front row) accompanied by her lawyers and supporters after the hearing.

MIRI: The Youth secretary of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Zulhaidah Suboh charged for promoting the ‘Bersih 2.0’ rally by wearing the yellow ‘Bersih 2.0’ T-shirt was yesterday given a discharge not amounting to acquittal by the Magistrate’s Court.

The 38-year-old politician was charged with two offences under the Societies Act 1966: possession of two T-shirts printed with the word ‘Bersih 2.0’, and display by wearing the ‘Bersih 2.0’ T-shirt.

Both offences under Section 47 of Society Act 1966 (Act 335) call for  a jail sentence of not more than two years, or fine of not more than RM5,000, or both upon conviction.

Zulhaidah pleaded not guilty to both charges and was released on RM4,000 bail for each charge with one surety.

She was stopped by the police as soon as she came out from the arrival hall of the airport around 1.45 pm on July 4 this year.

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yaacub Chik applied to discontinue or withdraw the case or
charge against the accused before Magistrate Nasrul Hadi Abdul Ghani.

Zulhaidah will be represented by Piasau assemblyman Ling Sie Kiong, Majen Panyog and Abun Sui Anyit.

The defending team had no objection to the prosecution’s application to withdraw the charge against the accused.
However, they want the court to not only discharge but acquit her as well.

At this juncture, the prosecution objected, saying they were merely applying to discontinue the present case, but would still have the power to recharge in future if deemed necessary.

In their reply, the defending team said under the provision of Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court was empowered to discharge and acquit the accused, and not be at liberty to charge her in future.

They argued on the basis that the case had gone on trial as the prosecution had called three witnesses to testify in court.

The magistrate later ordered Zulhaidah to be discharged, not amounting to acquittal, and for therefund of the bail deposited.