Hindraf lawyer charged with Sedition Act

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Singapore, Dec 11 (UNI) Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) lawyer P Uthayakumar was charged in a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today with posting a seditious letter on a website.

He pleaded not guilty, reported the Malaysian national news agency Bernama.

Judge Sabariah Othman has allowed Uthayakumar's bail of 50,000 Ringgit with one surety and ordered his passport to be impounded and has fixed five days from January 7 next year for the trial.

The letter, dated November 15, 2007, was from Hindraf and addressed to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Uthayakumar (46) was charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a fine of not exceeding 5,000 Ringgit or a jail term not exceeding three years or both for a first offence.

Meanwhile, the High Court has reinstated the sedition charges against three lawyers, including Uthayakumar, which were thrown out by the Klang Sessions Court on November 26.

The Bernama report said Uthayakumar, his brother Waytha Moorthy (41) and V Ganabathirau (34) will be produced again before the court this week.

Moorthy is abroad while the other two were present in court.

The three lawyers and Hindraf had organised a protest rally on November 25 claiming that ethnic Indians in Malaysia were marginalised.

The group has also sought Mr Gordon's help in raising their issues at the United Nations.

The Group has also filed a four trillion dollar claim against the British government alleging that the former colonial masters had brought their forefathers in the 1800s to the then Malaya colony as indentured labourers and left them out of the Malaysia prosperity.

The protest has become a major challenge for the Malaysian government, especially involving the minority Indian community, ahead of a likely general election next year.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Government is all set to settle the issue and take the illegal rally protestors to court.

UNI

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