Court Orders Ratu Naga’s Trial to Proceed

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The Court of Appeal has ordered the trial involving a building consultant who is facing a charge of insulting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on a social website, to proceed.

A three-man panel comprising Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Datuk Kamardin Hashim and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil today dismissed Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah’s application to stay the trial pending disposal of her appeal in the Court of Appeal.

“We are not with you. The matter should proceed. The trial should go on. The (stay) application is dismissed,” said Ahmadi who chaired the panel.

Syarul Ema, 37, has filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of her reference application to the Federal Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998. The court has yet to hear her appeal.

On Feb 17, 2016, Syarul Ema pleaded not guilty at the Sepang Sessions Court to a charge of knowingly using the network application, through the ‘Ratu Naga’ Facebook profile, to make and initiate the transmission of offensive comments against Najib over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with intent to annoy others.

The offence was allegedly committed on her Facebook page at 12.02am on Oct 6, 2015

Syarul Ema was charged under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or jail of up to a year, or both, if convicted.

Her case is fixed for mention at the Sessions Court on April 26.

In the proceedings today, her counsel Latheefa Koya applied for the stay order arguing that if the appellate court ruled in favour of her client on her constitutional challenge, the matter would become academic.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Sophian Zakaria submitted that the trial should proceed since there is no court decision on the constitutionality of Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA.