Chief Justice allows judgement delivered in defendant’s absentia

Fadley Faisal

Chief Justice (CJ) Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong sitting in the High Court on December 7, has authorised the Magistrate’s Court to hand down judgement to Shahiransheriffudin bin Shahrani Muhammad in absentia.

Shahiransheriffudin was a government employee charged with sedition, who absconded just before the trial was about to come to a judgement. He was tried on a charge under Chapter 24 of the Sedition Act, for inflammatory comments regarding the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Halal Certification policy.

The charge under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Sedition Act alleges that he had made a seditious post on his personal Facebook page on July 16, 2017. The High Court application was made by Deputy Public Prosecutor Affyian bin Abdul Rahman, who is also the prosecutor in the trial.

The Chief Justice has authorised Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah binti Haji Mohd Hussain to dispense with the requirement to deliver judgement in the presence of the defendant who had absconded; and invited the defendant’s counsel, Pengiran Khairul Nizam bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Yassin of Messrs Yusof Halim & Partners, to represent him when the judgement is handed down tomorrow.