Court strikes out whistleblower Zaidi’s application

KUALA LUMPUR: The KL High Court today struck out whistleblower Zaidi Ahmad's application for a judicial review to dissolve the court martial panel with a cost of RM2,000.

Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad, who made the decision in chambers, dismissed the judicial review application on academic grounds.

"The court has exercised (its) discretion not to allow the leave application for judicial review with a cost of RM2,000," senior Federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan told reporters after the decision was delivered.

Zaidi's counsel, Azhana Mohd Khairudin, said that although the application has been struck out, he still has the liberty to file a fresh application to challenge the military court's decision and his sacking.

He had filed the judicial review on Dec 11 last year to dissolve the court martial's convening authority.

On Jan 12, the court martial found Royal Malaysian Air Force officer Zaidi, 45, guilty of two charges of breaching military standing orders in revealing problems with the indelible ink used in the May 2013 general elections.

Zaidi was charged for speaking to the media without the consent of the Defence Ministry, and sharing confidential information with the media without the consent of the Armed Forces Council under Section 50 of the Armed Forces Act 1972.

Expressing disappointment on the decision, Zaidi told reporters outside the courtroom that he will file a fresh judicial review application on his sacking in another state.

He had also reportedly claimed that he was not given a fair trial as there was bias in the comment made by the military court presiding officer Colonel Saadon Hasnan on an article published by an online portal while the trial was still on-going.

Saadon had, by using a facebook account under the name Saadon Tson, allegedly commented in response to an article, "Peguam: Kesalahan Mejar Zaidi hanya kerana berani" (Lawyer: Major Zaidi charged for being courageous) published on Oct 20, last year.

The comment read: "klu tak nak jd tentera duk kampung motong getah je" (If you don't want to be in the military, then stay in the village and tap rubber).

This led to Zaidi's judicial review application to dissolve the convening authority.