Call to drop all charges against Maj Zaidi

08 Apr 2014 / 20:47 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Armed Forces Council should drop all seven charges against Major Zaidi Ahmad who has been charged with defying orders over the indelible ink issue in the last general election, says Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.
Zaidi was charged in a military court on four counts of allegedly violating Malaysian Armed Forces Council orders by lodging a police report on the indelible ink.
The three other charges are for making a media statement without authorisation and sending two text messages which were political in nature.
Proceedings against Zaidi were adjourned today after the court unanimously allowed a preliminary objection by lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Mydin that five charges were defective.
Panel president Saadon Hasnan said the matter would be referred to the convening authority to decide on the next course of action.
However, he said two other charges against Zaidi would be maintained.
The charges are that Zaidi had allegedly disobeyed Standing Orders by sending two text messages deemed to be political and seditious in nature while on duty at the Butterworth Air Base on May 1.
If found guilty, Zaidi, who has been in the air force for 25 years, will lose his pension and be imprisoned.
Maria stressed that Major Zaidi's action should be viewed in a bigger context.
"There must be a reason why Major Zaidi made the allegations. It is because he has a good principle towards a free and fair elections," she added
Constitutional law expert Dr Aziz Bari said even before the court sessions, Zaidi, an air force pilot, has been grounded as he is not allowed to fly.
The case, being conducted at the Sungai Besi RMAF base, has been adjourned to June 10.

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