He has to travel five to eight hours from his Kulim home to Putrajaya just to attend the Syariah High Court.

PUTRAJAYA: Academician Kassim Ahmad, 82, complained that he was tired traveling south from his home in Kedah, just to attend court mention. “I have to travel from my Kulim home to Putrajaya. It takes me five to eight hours to travel,” he said after attending his case mention at the Syariah High Court.

“I am more than 82 years old. I have to come a day earlier from Kedah,” he said. “I also need to spend every time I travel to attend court mention. I have to book hotel accomodation.”

“I am on a tight budget.”

Kassim was disappointed with the Syariah Court deferring the decision on whether to free him from the charges he’s facing. “The Court has not taken a decision. It should have.”

However, Kassim has decided not to cite Jawi for contempt of court for disobeying the civil court order. “I do not want more trouble,” he said.

On 27 March, 2014, Kassim faced two charges under the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (Federal Territories) for allegedly insulting Islam and disobeying the religious authority. On May 6, Jawi added another charge against him under the same Act.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, appearing for Kassim, said there was no stay on the Court of Appeal orders.

In 2014, Kassim filed a judicial review to strike out the syarie chief prosecutor’s decision to prosecute him for allegedly insulting Islam and defying the religious authorities.

He named Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom, chief Syarie prosecutor, Jawi and the government as respondents.

On January 6 this year, the academician failed in a judicial review to challenge Jawi’s prosecution against him.

The High Court ruled that his case fell under the Syariah jurisdiction and that he should bring the matter to the Syariah appeal court.

However, on December 21 last year, the Court of Appeal allowed his application and declared the religious arrest and prosecution was wrong.

Jawi only filed the appeal on January 20, shortly before the one month deadline for appeal ended.


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