News Reports on RPK Trial
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Court dismisses prosecution’s application to amend sedition charge against RPK
Nov 10, 2008 – the Sun

PETALING JAYA (Nov 10, 2008) : The Sessions Court here today rejected an application by the prosecution to amend the sedition charge against Malaysia-Today.net news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin.

The prosecution had applied to include the website address and title of the allegedly seditious article, “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell”, which was not present in the original article appended with the sedition charge.

In dismissing the amendment, Judge Rozina Ayob agreed with the defence that an an amendment to the charge would be contrary to Section 158 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and that it was prejudicial to the accused to amend it at such a late stage.

“The charge is a substitution. We have gone through it, and there are sections where even words are changed,” said defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo.

“The question that comes to mind is this. Is this the original, or is this another document that has been typed up by the police officer?” asked Gobind who submitted that the amendment was a sign that the prosecution “has no case”.

“It is our submission that the prosecution realises that they have no chance. They should withdraw the charge and admit that it is baseless,” said Gobind.

Raja Petra is charged with committing sedition through the article posted on Malaysia-Today.net at his house on Jalan BRP 5/5, Bukit Rahman Putra in Sungai Buloh on April 25 this year.

The charge carries a penalty of up to RM5,000 fine or up to three years jail or both upon conviction.

DPP Ishak Mohd Yusoff however refuted the severity of the amendments, claiming the the prosecution had just added two elements which had been objected to by the defence during the last trial sessions in October.

“It is an editorial, but it forms part of the ingredients of the charge, so that the accused understands the charge against him. We are adding two ingredients to make it clearer,” said Ishak.

The court then moved on to hear testimony from two witnesses, — senior digital forensic analyst S.Sivanathan and ASP Wa’ie Isqual Kria Abdullah.

Sivanathan, who was questioned on a forensic investigation report of the computers seized from Raja Petra by the police, told the court there were several elements found in the forensic log which indicated that someone had used the computers, a Dell desktop and an Asus laptop to access Malaysia-Today.net with “administrator privileges”.

Asked to clarify what “administrator privileges” were, Sivanathan said that such privileges allow a user to maintain the website.

He said however that while some people may log in with administrator rights, it was possible to create usernames and passwords with lesser privileges.

He said while there was evidence in the log indicating that files had been uploaded to Malaysia-Today from the computers, he was unable to determine the type of file uploaded to the news portal.

Meanwhile, Wa’ie, who was called to testify on the forensic log made by him for the investigating officer, DSP Mahfuz Abdul Majid, said that while he prepared the logs from his forensic analysis of both the laptop and the desktop, he did not look beyond Mahfuz’s request to find evidence pertaining to the investigation on Raja Petra.

Hearing continues tomorrow.

…source

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