Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ex-Perlis mufti's case put off to April 8

The Syariah High Court here today postponed to April 8 the hearing of the prosecution's application for a review of a lower court's decision not to transfer the case of former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin to the Syariah High Court.

Syarie judge Mohamad Adib Husain fixed the date after the prosecuting officer from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department, Zusyarafain Md Yusof, told the court that Selangor Syarie chief prosecutor Abd Shukor Abdul Halim could not be present because he had to attend a meeting in Sabah.

NONEMohammad Asri (far right) and his lawyers, Kamar Ainiah Kamaruszaman and Jamal Mohd Lokman Sulaiman, having been informed of the matter earlier, were absent.

Mohd Asri, 38, pleaded not guilty in the Gombak Timur Syaria Low Court last Nov 18 to teaching Islam without accreditation at a house in Lorong 2C, Taman Sri Ukay, Ampang, between 8.10pm and 9.45pm on Nov 1 last year, an offence which carries a maximum RM3,000 or two years jail, or both, on conviction.

The prosecution led by Abd Shukor applied for the case to be transferred to the High Court on grounds that the case involved more accurate interpretation of the law, that it had received wide media coverage and that Mohd Asri had great influence over the rural community.

However, Syarie judge Wan Mahyuddin Wan Muhammad dismissed the application saying that he would only allow it if the prosecution put up reasonable grounds or if there was la ikelihood of prejudice to the accused.

The prosecution then sought a review from the Syariah High Court. Mohd Asri's preliminary objection to the application was dismissed by Mohammad Adib on Jan 25.

- Bernama

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