Karpal guilty of sedition

Karpal guilty of sedition

CONVICTED: Sentencing and mitigation fixed on March 7

KUALA LUMPUR: A PACKED High Court went quiet yesterday when veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh was convicted of committing sedition against the sultan of Perak in 2009.

Whispers in the public gallery halted when judge Datuk Paduka Azman Abdullah ruled that the DAP chairman failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

"After having gone through the accused's defence and witness testimonies and the overall evidence, including the verdict by the Court of Appeal and submissions by both parties, the court finds the accused failed to raise any doubt through his defence.

"In other words, the prosecution succeeded in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt and the court, therefore, finds the accused guilty of the charge," he said in reading out a brief written judgment yesterday.

Karpal's counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, who is also his son, then sought the court's permission for the defence be given a week to prepare mitigation.

Gobind said this was because his father was not well.

When Azman asked deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin whether the prosecution had any objection, she said the prosecution would leave it to the court's discretion.

Azman then fixed March 7 for mitigation and sentencing. Among DAP leaders and members spotted present in court were party adviser Lim Kit Siang, secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were seen sitting in the front row of the public gallery.

Karpal's wife, Gurmit Kaur, his son, Jagdeep Singh Deo, and other family members were present. Gurmit and Dr Wan Azizah were seen embracing after the proceedings.

Karpal said the defence accepted and respected the court's right to arrive at the decision.

"However, we have the right to appeal," he said, before being wheeled away by his family members and supporters.