Emilia Hanafi, the former wife of Naza group chairperson SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin, will succumb to her custodial sentencing by the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court next Monday (June 27), according to her lawyers.
The 43-year-old was sentenced to seven days in jail for unilaterally rescheduling the visitation dates for her children to be with their father.
On June 8, Emilia filed a judicial review application to challenge her sentencing.
However, she told reporters today that upon legal advice, she had made the difficult decision to turn herself in.
“I tried to resolve the matter in the civil court through judicial review, but my application for the urgent stay to the arrest warrant was unsuccessful. The court wanted to (hold a hearing) on another day.
“So, to simplify things, I am just surrendering. But I am doing this under protest. I fully reserve my legal rights.
“My focus is only my children. My children are the world. I am doing this for them. If I have to go to jail for (the sake of) my children, I will go,” Emilia said at a press conference from lawyer Siti Kasim’s service centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Faisal was charged with assaulting Emilia on Nov 22, 2015, at their home in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
He was charged under Section 323 of the Penal Code which carries up to two years in jail or a maximum RM4,000 fine, or both.
Siti said that during the civil court hearings of Emilia’s domestic violence case against her former husband, police allegedly turned up to hand her the arrest warrant.
She alleged that this caused Emilia stress and made her unavailable to attend the court hearings as a prosecution witness in the case.
“The court gave an ultimatum for her to appear, otherwise they will throw the case out.
“We have advised her to get this out of the way so that she is free to attend all the court appearances,” Siti added.
Emilia was not physically present at the press conference. It is understood that this was out of fear she would be arrested prior to her surrender.
Emilia’s lawyer Nizam Bashir, as well as representatives from Sisters in Islam (SIS), Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), All Women’s Action Society (Awam) and Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) were in attendance.
Nizam and Siti questioned the rationale behind Emilia’s seven-day custodial sentencing, alleging that her former husband had missed 77 visitation dates with his children.
Siti said Emilia did not seek contempt proceedings against Faisal due to financial reasons.
“Consequently, how is it just that a custodial sentence be imposed on her, supposedly for two or three visitation dates, but nothing transpires for the 77 dates the ex-husband was absent? We do not see how this is just,” Siti added.
Nizam alluded that this was an excessive punishment for such an offence, questioning if custodial sentencing was warranted. – Malaysiakini