Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s lead counsel, Karpal Singh, yesterday challenged Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to file a civil suit against his client over the alleged seditious statements that implicated the deputy prime minister and his wife in the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Karpal, who is also DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor member of parliament, said charging the blogger under the Sedition Act 1948 was not a good development for the country, and had appeared as a warning sign of more prosecutions against such writers.
Speaking to reporters after Raja Petra was charged at the session’s court yesterday, he said: “The right remedy ought to be in the manner of a civil redress filed by Najib and his wife (Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor) and I think he (Najib) should.”
Raja Petra has been charged under Section 4(1)(C) of the Sedition Act 1948 for allegedly making seditious statements in an article that he had written on his website Malaysia Today, which was posted on April 25. The article allegedly implied that Najib and Rosmah were involved in the murder of Altantuya.
If convicted, Raja Petra could face a fine of up to RM5,000 or a maximum of three years’ imprisonment or both. Sessions court judge Nurmala Salim fixed the court hearing for Oct 6 to 10 this year.