Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Raja Petra can't be tried in Britain

(The Star) PETALING JAYA: The Government cannot bring fugitive blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin to trial in Britain even if it wanted to.

Bar Council vice-president Lim Chee Wee said Malaysia would have to bring Raja Petra back to prosecute him.

“Essentially, it can’t be done,” he said when asked about Raja Petra’s challenge to the Malaysian Government to try him in Britain.

“You have to bring him back to prosecute him. To do that, you have to check if there is an extradition treaty with Britain.

“And if there is, it depends whether UK gives consent. One factor is whether he can get a fair trial in Malaysia,” said Lim.

It was reported on Monday that an online news portal had written that Raja Petra said he would seek a level playing field in his fight against charges of defamation and sedition as well as his appeal against his detention under the Internal Security Act.

Raja Petra refuted the notion that he should return home to defend himself at a Malaysian court, adding that it was the prosecution’s job to prove guilt.

He has two warrants of arrest issued against him for not attending up for his sedition trial in April and May last year.

Another lawyer, Norman Fernandez concurred with Lim that Raja Petra cannot be tried in Britain. “There is no provision to try him in UK. He is not a war criminal.

“And if he is tried there, and found guilty, can he serve his sentence in a UK prison?” he said.

Fernandez said Raja Petra was merely taunting the Malaysian authorities after he managed to slip out of the country.

“He’s thumbing his nose at the Malaysian authorities and saying ‘Catch me if you can’. He knows it is not easy to bring him back to Malaysia,” he said.

Fernandez said nobody knew Raja Petra’s residential status in Britain.

“If he is a visitor, then his term of stay in the country is limited. He could have entered Britain through special documents. Or as a refugee.

“We don’t know, and the British authorities have yet to shed light on this,” he said.

Former Selangor PKR Youth chief Hamidzun Khairuddin, who joined Umno in 2004, called Raja Petra a traitor to Malaysians.

No comments:

Post a Comment