Defence argues Najib at the heart of RPK sedition trial

Raja Petra Kamarudin in good spirits outside the Sessions Court just before the trial. — Pic by Edward Cheah
By Debra Chong

PETALING JAYA, Feb 10 — The sedition trial of prominent anti-establishment blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin continued today at the Sessions Court here amid much drama — with the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s name often cropping up.

In his cross-examination of a key prosecution witness, defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, tried to establish that the sedition charge against the Malaysia Today editor was “politically motivated”, as he told reporters outside the courtroom later.

The cross-examination of Superintendant Gan Tack Guan lasted over three hours.

During that time, Gobind shot question after question over Gan’s failure, as the police officer who lodged the report against Raja Petra, to record the DPM’s statements despite being named in Raja Petra’s allegedly seditious article published in his website on April 25 last year.

Raja Petra — popularly known by his initials RPK — was charged with sedition last May for allegedly implying Najib was involved in the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman in an online article titled “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers To Hell”.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison or a fine not more than RM5,000 or both.

“Did you, at any point of time during the investigation of the Altantuya case, question Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak?” Gobind questioned while referencing Raja Petra’s article.

“No,” Gan replied.

“If you did not investigate Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, how do you know the content of the paragraph is untrue?” Gobind pressed.

“I got to know the facts from the investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan,” Gan answered, looking uncomfortable.

Assistant Superintendent Tonny Lunggan was the investigating police officer who headed the probe into the gruesome death of Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaaribuu, whose blown-up remains were discovered in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam near here close to three years ago.

Raja Petra, who is out on bail, attended today’s trial with his wife Marina Lee Abdullah and several supporters dressed in black “I Am With RPK” t-shirts.

He appeared amused at the interrogation tactics employed by Gobind and the resulting agitation showed by Gan, frequently turning around to smile at the public from his seat in the dock.

The trial will resume with Gan’s cross-examination on Thursday.

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