SHAH ALAM – Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli’s conviction for criminal defamation against Umno last year has been quashed by the High Court here today.
In allowing Rafizi’s appeal against his conviction last year, High Court judge Datuk Ghazali Cha said the prosecution’s charge was defective.
“The key element to a charge under Section 504 of the Penal Code is proving the intent of the appellant. However, the charge itself had failed to state how the accused had provoked a breach of peace from his interview,” he said.
He added that the subsequent reaction from Selangor Umno members was only to lodge a police report against Rafizi and nothing on incidents that could provoke public peace.
Ghazali also dismissed the prosecution’s bid to increase Rafizi’s sentence and ordered the RM1,800 fine paid by Rafizi to be refunded.
The PKR lawmaker had been fined RM1,800 at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court after he was found guilty of criminal defamation against Umno members in a statement he made in 2014.
He had been accused of committing the offence in an article titled “Analyst: Will Rafizi quit if Selangor not toppled?” which was published in the now-defunct news portal, fz.com and published by The Edge Financial Daily in 2014.
Rafizi had allegedly insinuated that Umno Selangor members were behind the incidents where molotov cocktails were thrown into compound of churches in Selangor.
The prompted several Umno Youth leaders in Selangor to lodge a police report against him, claiming they had been upset by his remarks.
Deputy public prosecutor Iskandar appeared for the prosecution while counsel Gobind Singh Deo appeared for Rafizi. – The Sun