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Federal Court dismisses Karpal's review application
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed a review application by veteran lawyer Karpal Singh to direct a fresh Court of Appeal bench to hear the prosecution's appeal following his acquittal for sedition.
A five-man bench led by Datuk Hashim Yusoff said yesterday there was no basis in Karpal's application.
Karpal was charged with uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama in 2009.
High Court Judge Azman Abdullah acquitted Karpal without calling for his defence.
The public prosecutor's appeal to reverse the High Court decision was allowed by a three-man Court of Appeal bench who included Datuk Clement Allan Skinner.
Karpal, however, filed an application before another Court of Appeal bench to review that judgment on the grounds Skinner was not fluent in Bahasa Malaysia.
Karpal contends Skinner, a Sabahan but born in Burma, was not competent to understand the contents in the 105-page judgment written by presiding judge Datuk Ahmad Maarop in Bahasa Malaysia.
Karpal said this amounted to a coram failure and wanted a new bench to rehear the public prosecutor's appeal on the sedition charge.
On April 5, another Court of Appeal bench led by its president Tan Sri Raus Sharif dismissed the review application.
Raus had said that Skinner may not be fluent in Bahasa Malaysia but he understood the national language.
Karpal then filed a review application in the apex court to review Raus' ruling.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, who represented the public prosecutor, submitted that Karpal was making an allegation based on conjecture.
“Karpal believes that Skinner cannot understand Bahasa Malaysia and as such was unable to comprehend the judgment," she said.
She said there was only a coram failure if one of the judges was not in the bench.
Noorin said Karpal's application was an affront to Skinner and the Court of Appeal.