KOTA KINABALU: The plea bargaining process of four volunteers of the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) movement will proceed on April 13 this year, pending instructions from the federal Attorney General (AG).
Sessions Court judge Indra Hj Ayub reserved the date for the case management of Azrie Situ, 24, Jemmy Liku Markus Situ, 32, Erick Jack William, 28, and Joseph Kolis, 29, upon the agreement of both the prosecution and the defence.
During yesterday’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Wan Farrah Farriza Wan Ghazali, who stood in for DPP Gan Peng Kun, informed the court that the prosecution had received a representation letter from the defence dated March 7 this year.
In the wake of that, Farrah requested a new date to receive direction from the federal AG before proceeding with the case.
Counsel Tengku Fuad Ahmad, who represented all four accused, had no objection to the application for adjournment, but added that it was imperative for DPP Gan to be present during the next mention as the latter was familiar with this case and could therefore spare the court precious judicial time.
In addition to the new date for the continuation of plea bargaining, the court also reserved May 9 and 10 this year for the trial of the case.
The SSKM volunteers had been charged with purportedly having pamphlets which contained supposedly seditious contents when they were caught at the weekly market in Tuaran on February 1, 2015.
Erick purportedly had 91 pieces of the publication, Joseph 13 pieces, Azrie five pieces and Jemmy one piece.
On October 7, 2015, the prosecution had submitted a list of words claimed to be seditious, which were (in translation): “To collect 300,000 signatures of the people of Sabah and Sarawak to be presented to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) and the United Nations that the states of Sabah and Sarawak are no longer interested to remain as part of the Malaysian Federation with Malaya.”
The volunteers were charged under Section 4(2) of the Sedition Act 1948, which carries a fine of up to RM2,000 or a maximum jail term of 18 months or both, upon conviction, and the offensive material is to be seized and destroyed.