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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Siti Kasim’s lawyer questions Jawi officer’s credibility

This follows discrepancies in the testimony of Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) enforcement officer Siti Nor Jihan Saleh and her earlier police report.
Siti Kasim (centre) with well-wishers outside the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court.
KUALA LUMPUR: The defence team for lawyer and activist Siti Kasim today pointed out discrepancies between the testimony of Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) enforcement officer Siti Nor Jihan Saleh and her earlier police report.
Jihan told the Magistrate’s Court that the religious department had raided a hotel on April 3, 2016 because a beauty pageant was being held at the premises.
However, lawyer Suzana Norlihan Alias pointed out that Jihan’s police report claimed there were transgenders at the event and did not mention any beauty pageant.
She questioned the credibility of Jihan’s testimony in court due to the discrepancies.
“I am sorry I had forgotten about the earlier report,” Jihan, who appeared nervous, said from the witness stand.
A fiery Suzana then demanded to know if Jihan was “lying” and urged the court to charge her for perjury.
Jihan said as an enforcement officer, she was aware of the consequences of lying in court.
“‘Bismillah’, I am a witness and I give my evidence under oath.”
Suzana told Jihan there was no need for her to use the Arabic term.
“This is not a shariah court,” she said. The lawyer, however, apologised to Jihan later for her aggressive questioning.
Earlier, Jihan told the court that she did not agree with the law that Jawi must have a warrant to arrest suspects.
“I do not agree with Section 55(3) of the Shariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) Act,” she said in reply to a question from Suzana.
Section 55(3) stipulates that Jawi enforcement officers can only investigate Islamic offences but have no power to arrest without a warrant.
Jihan also told the court that she was unsure if it was a closed-door event.
Siti, a human rights activist, claimed trial last year to a charge under Section 186 of the Penal Code to prevent Jihan, a public servant, from discharging her duties during Jawi’s raid on a transgender event on April 3, 2016.
The offence carries a jail term of not more than two years or a maximum fine of RM10,000 or both, upon conviction.
A video of her shouting at the Jawi officers, asking if they had a warrant to raid the closed-door event, went viral on social media.
The trial resumes on July 17-19 before Magistrate Maizatul Munirah Abd Rahman. - FMT

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