Penang High Court today fixed March 31 to decide on an appeal by the prosecution against Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu better known as Mat Sabu’s acquittal on his remarks on the 1950 communist attack in Bukit Kepong.
According to Bernama, Judge Lim Chong Fong set the date after hearing submissions from Penang Prosecution Unit chief Razali Che Ani and the defence lawyers Aminuddin Zulkipli, and Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
On July 8, 2015, Mat Sabu was acquitted and discharged by the Penang Sessions Court on two charges in connection with his remarks on the communist attack.
Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi made the ruling after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie at the end of the prosecution case.
In his submission, Razali said the Sessions Court judge had not fully evaluated the testimony by the prosecution witnesses in his decision.
He said the judge had erred in terms of law and facts in ruling that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case only by relying on the testimony of the seventh witness.
The judge, he said, had also erred for ruling that there was no element of slander in the remarks by Mat Sabu based on differing views by historians, when what the court should decide was whether the remarks by the respondent was subjected to the elements under Section 500 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Aminuddin submitted that the Sessions Court Judge had evaluated thoroughly the testimony of the witnesses produced by the prosecution.
The court also found that the witnesses did not listen for themselves the speech by Mohamed, but only knew about it after reading the Utusan Malaysia newspaper or watching the news on TV3, he added.
Mat Sabu was charged with having defamed 25 policemen and their family members who defended themselves in an attack by communist guerillas at the Bukit Kepong police station on Feb 23, 1950.
The former Pas deputy president was alleged to have committed the offence when delivering his speech at an Islamic kindergarten of PAS in Padang Menora, Tasek Gelugor, Penang, between 10 pm and midnight on Aug 23, 2011.
The charge, under Section 500 of the Penal Code, carries a two-year jail term or a fine, or both, on conviction.