Jan 14, 2010

Nik Sapeia gets six months’ jail

KOTA BARU: The Magistrates Court here sentenced businessman Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusoff to six months’ jail for voluntarily causing hurt by spraying a dangerous substance at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on July 28, 2006.

Magistrate Azman Mustapha, however, allowed a stay of execution of the sentence pending appeal.

Nik Sapeia, 56, who was calm when Azman read out the sentence, smiled after the court allowed the stay of execution of the sentence.

Soon after Thursday’s proceeding was over, Nik Sapeia, who was in the witness dock, looked towards his family members and supporters seated at the public gallery and said, “Be patient as there is still a chance (for an appeal).”

Prior to sentencing Nik Sapeia, Azman said the decision had to be taken in the interest of the public.

“This will also serve as a lesson for the society,” he said.

Nik Sapeia’s lawyer, Saseedharan Menon, then applied for a stay of execution of the sentence, saying they would file an appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Idham Abdul Ghani however objected, saying the court should take into consideration relevant factors.

“What the accused has done is serious and I object any stay of execution of the sentence,” he said.

Saseedharan, however, said that the court should take into consideration Nik Sapeia’s position in politics and society.

“The accused is a PPP vice-president and it will affect his good name in the eyes of the people and supporters. He is a respected man as he has been helping the people irrespective of their race,” he said.

Another lawyer of the accused, Zainal Abidin Mustaffa, said that if Nik Sapeia was jailed, it would destroy his political career and business.

“His business has been affected for nearly three years and he suffered losses due to this case.

“Jail will destroy his career. If he is fined, we request that the amount will be limited to only RM2,000,” he said.

Idham, however, asked that the court impose a jail sentence, saying the offence committed by the accused was serious.

Nik Sapeia was charged with committing the offence at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa, at 11am on July 28, 2006.

He was charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code which carries a jail sentence of up to three years or a fine or whipping, or any two of the punishments.

Apart from Dr Mahathir, Nik Sapeia was also charged with voluntarily causing hurt to three others namely Datuk Ibrahim Ali, 58, Mohd Nasir Muda, 48, and Suberi Sahidan, 50. -- Bernama

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