April 12, 2005 15:57 PM
PETALING JAYA, April 12 (Bernama) — The Magistrate’s Court here was Tuesday asked to discharge national songstress Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar from the charge of defaming popular singer Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin via e-mail.
Her defence counsel, Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah made the application when raising preliminary objection on grounds that the charge against Sharifah Aini was defective and vague.
Muhammad Shafee said that in addition, the charge presented by the prosecution was illegal and did not comply with the provisions under Sections 499 and 500 of the Penal Code pertaining to defamation and slander.
“In a criminal defamation case, you must make the alleged defamatory word clear for a fair conduct of the trial.
“If you did not tell her what you meant in the charge, she could not make her defence of justification and fair comment or, if she accepted that she had said the word, she could apologise,” he said.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim denied that the charge was defective or inferior and said that it was only the opinion of the defence counsel.
“If one looks at it closely, the charge states that Datuk Sharifah Aini had transmitted to Ahmad Shaharil Jamaludin specific allegations and these were the defamation meant under Sections 499 and 500 of the Penal Code,” he said.
On the words that defamed Siti Nurhaliza which the counsel claimed were vague, Suhaimi said that they had been outlined in Appendix A which was submitted together with the charge.
Suhaimi said the charge that Sharifah Aini had defamed Siti Nurhaliza could only be proven through testimonies by witnesses who would be called upon by the prosecution which showed that the defamation had tarnished Siti’s reputation.
As such, he urged the court to reject the preliminary objection raised by Muhammad Shafee.
Magistrate Azroul Hisham Azulan fixed June 16 to decide on the matter.
Earlier, the court had fixed four days beginning today for the trial.
Sharifah Aini, 52, is charged with defaming Siti Nurhaliza through e-mails sent to her adopted brother, Ahmad Shaharil Jamaludin.
Sharifah Aini, who arrived in a black Proton Perdana V6 at 9.55am, is alleged to have committed the offence at her house at No 42, Lorong Utara, off Jalan Utara, here at 4.52pm on Aug 24 last year.
The veteran singer, wearing a black baju kurung with red flowers and matching red shoes and handbag, is charged under section 500 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum two years jail or a fine, or both, on conviction.
Shortly after the court was adjourned at about 11.55am, Sharifah Aini was seen rushing out to her car and saying, “Thank you for coming” to reporters and photographers who had swarmed her.
Siti Nurhaliza, 26, who was also a witness at the trial, drew the attention of the crowd when she arrived at 8.45am for the hearing.
Dressed in black pants and a white blouse with black polka dots, she was accompanied by her brother, Saiful Bahari Taruddin, and sister-in-law, Rozie Abdul Razak.
Other witnesses present were entertainment journalists Zieman from The Star, Sharuddin Mustafa and Ku Seman Ku Hussein from Utusan Melayu.
Also seen at the court was famous composer Ramli MS.
Siti Nurhaliza left the court at 12.05pm in a black Toyota Estima.