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Court dismisses application for gag order by prosecution against green activist Shariffa Sabrina

Court dismisses application for gag order by prosecution against green activist Shariffa Sabrina

RAUB: The Sessions Court here today dismissed an application for a gag order by the prosecution against former Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil to prevent her from making any statement on her state land encroachment case to the media or social media.

Judge Ahmad Faizadh Yahaya (repeat: Faizadh Yahaya) made the decision after finding that the application filed by public prosecutor from the Pahang State Enforcement Unit, Izzat Ikhwan Abu Bakar, last April 13, having failed to meet the conditions for such an application.

The application was filed after Shariffa Sabrina was charged in the same court with encroaching state land at three plots in the Bentong, Ulu Dong and Terap subdistricts on June 10 and 11 last year.

In his judgment, Ahmad Faizadh said it is the duty of the judge hearing the case to consider evidence adduced in court only and to ignore irrelevant matters, while the decision could still be appealed to a higher level if a judge had erred.

In dismissing (the application for the gag order), it would not result in a denial of the right to a fair trial and instead, would give the applicant an opportunity to tell his story and thus create a balanced narrative in the matter, he said.

Apart from that, he said, the applicant still had a way out according to the defamation law, and could even initiate committal proceedings for contempt of court if any party violated the rule of sub judice

The court then set Sept 19 for mention to find out the progress of a representation sent by Shariffa Sabrina on the charges made against her to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

Earlier, lawyer Mohd Harris Mohan, representing Shariffa Sabrina, told the court that his client was sending a representation to the AGC.

On March 15, Shariffa Sabrina, 60, pleaded not guilty to three charges of unlawful occupation of state land.

She was charged with committing the offence at 2 pm on Jun 10 and 11, 2021 at Lot 26148, GM4135 in Mukim Bentong; Lot 1053, PM0053 Mukim Ulu Dong and Lot 10061, GM1572 Mukim Tras, both in Raub.

The land involved is alleged to have been turned into a resort area and for business acfivities by Tanah Aina Fareena Cafe & Restaurant, Tanah Aina Fahad Glamping Resort and Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Exclusive Eco Resort.

The charges were framed under Section 425(1)(a) of the National Land Code 1965 which provides a maximum fine of RM500,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, if found guilty. – Bernama