KUALA LUMPUR (May 23): Student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim was charged for sedition in the sessions court today.
The 24 year-old, dressed in a black shirt and green slacks, has claimed for trial.
Judge Norsharidah Awang granted RM5,000 bail and set July 2 for the case mention.
Adam Adli was arrested by police last Saturday and remanded under the Penal Code for allegedly undermining parliamentary democracy and under the Sedition Act for allegedly uttering seditious remarks.
Should the suspended Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris student be found guilty, he may be fined up to RM5,000, jailed up to three years, or both.
Adam Adli was charged today under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act for allegedly making seditious statements during a public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on May 13.
He, alongside several other activists, has urged the people to stage a massive street protest against electoral fraud.
Among the seditious statements made were: "This year 2013, we will bring Umno and Barisan Nasional and kick them out from Putrajaya. If there are police, SBs (special branch) or Umno agents (here), my name is Adam Adli Abdul Halim. My IC number is.... Take my detail, make a police report because today I want to call upon all of you to mobilise and take to the streets to reclaim our power".
Adam Adli was represented by lawyers Datuk S Ambiga and N Surendran who argued for him to be released on a personal bond.
Ambiga who is also Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson described the case as “frivolous, smacks of selective prosecution and abuse of justice system.”
“The accused has been in remand for five days quite unnecessarily. (He could be easily charged) with reproduction of audio recording of statement. Completely unnecessary,” she said.
Surendran argued that Adam Adli was a university student whose father was a pensioner, factors which should be taken into consideration in issuing a personal bond.
He added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced the government’s plan to repeal the Sedition Act last year, thus there was little basis for this case.
In addition, Surendran said the defence council will also appeal to the High Court on an alleged abuse of the process of court.
"(This is a) case that cannot secede. (It is based on) bad faith abuse of court process. Under the Sedition Act, they could only get a four-day remand period but they told the Magistrate that he will be investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code (for allegedly undermining parliamentary democracy) to get a longer remand period. That is misleading the court," he said.
He claimed it was a case of “selective prosecution” as Adam was immediately arrested and investigated within days after his alleged statements but no action was taken against former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah who allegedly propagated racial sentiments but allowed scot free.
Judge Norsharidah said it was still too premature to determine the merits of the case and rejected personal bail.
Adam Adli was also represented by Afiq M Noor and Michelle Yesudass. Deputy Public Prosecutor for the case was Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas.
About 50 of his supporters, including his father Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, crowded the Jalan Duta Court complex here under the watchful eyes of 40 policemen.
Adam Adli who walked out of the court at about 11.45am appeared to be in good spirits and thanked Malaysians for their help, saying it was only the beginning of the struggle.
"(What I have been through) isn't that great as many have gone through worse. Thank you to all Malaysians, you are the reason why I love this country,
"This is only the beginning we have to be spirited," he said through a loudhailer.