KUALA LUMPUR: The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) de facto chief P Uthayakumar has been sentenced to 30 months jail for publishing seditious material in 2007.
The sentence was handed down by Sessions Court judge Ahmad Zamzaini Mohd Zain this afternoon.
The Hindraf leader was found guilty of publishing seditious material via a letter written between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007 to the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
In the letter, Uthayakumar also alleged that the state sponsored social ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Indian poor in Malaysia.
The letter was widely circulated and posted in several blogs and websites.
On Monday, Uthayakumar had refused to continue with his defence on grounds that the circumstances of this case did not allow him to proceed.
He also refused to make submissions this morning, choosing to remain silent in court, not even applying for a stay of sentence.
He had earlier said that he would not file for an appeal or mitigate the case.
FMT learnt that he is now being transferred to the Kajang Prison.
Earlier in delivering the verdict, Ahmad Zamzani said Uthayakumar had failed to raise a reasonable double in the prosecution’s case.
When asked to make a plea in mitigation, he just said that he had already said what he wanted to twice during this morning’s session.
Every time he was asked to address the court, Uthayakumar kept repeating:”Because of the circumstances of this case and in protest against institutionalised racist government policies in Malaysia victimising in particular the Indian poor, I am unable to proceed further with my defence, re-examination, calling further witnesses, submitting a close of case and mitigation.”
He also asked to be handcuffed after the hearing. Soon after being secured with handcuff, he started posing to photographers despite repeated warnings from court officials that photography was prohibited in courts.
His lawyer M Manogaran told reporters later that he has not received any instructions to appeal the decision.
The sentence begins today.