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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Minister's appeal against RPK may not be heard on Monday

Raja Petra yesterday filed an application to review four rulings of the Federal Court made earlier against him on grounds he was not given a fair hearing.

The blogger, who filed the application under rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995, named the minister as respondent.

Raja Petra wants four previous applications to be reheard by judges other than Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri S. Augstine Paul and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

He also wants the hearing of his appeal to be stayed pending the disposal of his review application.

On Tuesday, a two-man bench unanimously dismissed Raja Petra's application to disqualify Paul from hearing the appeal on grounds the blogger had made several remarks about the judge on his website since 2000.

Raja Petra said Paul had formed an opinion that he was a threat to national security in a judgment in 2001. At the outset of hearing the application, Paul disqualified himself.

Raja Petra's counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar asked for Paul to be replaced with another judge as the law prescribed that an uneven number and a minimum of three judges must be on the bench.

However, Nik Hashim and Zulkefli dismissed the recusal application as it was without merit.

Paul, who returned to the bench, together with Nik Hashim and Zulkefli, later unanimously dismissed three other applications sought by Raja Petra:

- For the existing three-man bench to be increased to five or seven on grounds that complex and constitutional issues which have far-reaching consequences would be argued;

- For fresh evidence to be adduced in the Federal Court to show he was not a threat to national security after the High Court in Shah Alam allowed his habeas corpus application on Feb 17; and

- To introduce the notes of evidence in his ongoing sedition trial at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court.

Courtesy © NSTonline 

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