By Clara Chooi (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 – PKR’s Chua Tian Chang maintained today that he is unhappy with being found guilty of biting a policeman and claimed that the High Court had failed to handle his case properly.
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The former civil rights activist expressed regret that High Court judge Datuk Ghazali Cha had not gone through the evidence of his case properly when hearing his appeal.
“My appeal is against the evidence of the police that I assaulted and caused harm.
“I regret that the judge did not entertain the evidence I presented and maintained the facts of the verdict by the Magistrate (previously),” he told reporters in Parliament this morning.
Chua, or Tian Chua, was referring to his appeal to the High Court on a previous judgment by Magistrate Mohd Fazizi Cha Abu to sentence him to six months’ jail and a RM3,000 fine for biting a police constable in 2007.
Chua was charged under Section 332 of the Penal Code for causing voluntary hurt towards Constable Rosyaidi Anuar, 22, from the Anti-Narcotics Division at 10.45am on December 11, 2007.
“I maintain that there was no bite and it was very clear in all the evidence is that there was no bite.
“I believe that by maintaining the evidence presented to the magistrate, this means that the (High Court) judge had not gone far enough to examine the evidence,” Chua said.
Just over an hour back, Ghazali, in a meeting with both the prosecution and the defense panels, maintained his decision to reduce Chua’s sentence for the purpose of avoiding a by-election in the MP’s Batu seat.
Chua’s validity as an MP came into question when Ghazali, in his decision on Chua’s appeal, reduced the MP’s sentence to a RM2,000 fine in default two months’ jail.
The first-term MP’s status was hotly-debated after several allies from Pakatan Rakyat noted that Chua has been automatically disqualified from being a federal lawmaker by virtue of the RM2,000 fine.
DAP chairman Karpal Singh, a veteran lawyer, noted Article 48 of the Federal Constitution, which states that any person sentenced to jail for not less than one year or to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a royal pardon is disqualified from being a member of Parliament.
Chua claimed, however, that today’s meeting with the judge should lay to rest all doubts over his status as an MP.
“The judge repeated his decision and that his intention to set aside the earlier sentence was so that I could remain in my status as an MP.
“He (Ghazali) maintains that his position is that the words ‘no less than RM2,000’ in the law, means that you must have a fine that is higher than RM2,000.
“That is his interpretation of the Constitution and if anyone disagrees, they can challenge him in a higher court,” he said.
Chua admitted that his status as an MP could still be challenged should the prosecution appeal Ghazali’s decision.
“They always have the right to appeal. But until they win the appeal, I will still continue to be the MP for Batu,” he said.
Asked whether he would exercise more caution in the future for fear that he would lose his seat, Chua scoffed at the suggestion and said that all opposition MPs faced such a threat no matter what they did.
“The thing about such a frame-up is that any MP or social activist who challenges the authority will always face such a hazard.
“But we should not be afraid of such a threat. Just because I am an MP, I cannot say that I am afraid of losing my position and thats why I should avoid doing my duty,” he said.
Chua added that the 1975 case of former DAP MP for Menglembu Fan Yew Teng should not be used as a reference.
“I am not a legal expert and I do not want to interpret this in any way. Fan Yew Teng’s treatment was an unjust one. Fan was ejected from the House by the Speaker unfairly.
“I do not think that any illegal case such as this should be used as a reference,” he said.
In Fan’s case, the former MP was fined RM2,000 in default six months’ jail under the Sedition Act and was subsequently disqualified from the House.
Tian Chua complains about judge
By Clara Chooi (Malaysian Insider)