Proof of guilt lies with the prosecutor

Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia - The prosecution has failed to prove the most important “ingredient” in the case involving a Sky Kingdom sect follower who had allegedly renounced Islam.

Sa’adiah Din, who is representing Kamariah Ali, 54, said this in her submission at the Syariah High Court here yesterday.

She said it was the prosecution’s job to prove that her client had uttered the words that she was no longer a Muslim with intent to escape punishment under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offence Enactment (Takzir) Terengganu 2001.

“This must be proven by the chief prosecutor (Mustafar Hamzah) and not by the accused,” she said.

Kamariah, a graduate of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, had been charged under Section 7 of the enactment for uttering that she was no longer a Muslim to escape punishment under Section 10 of the same enactment.

She was accused of uttering the words at the Besut Lower Syariah Court on July 21 last year.

At the time, Kamariah and more than 40 followers of the sect were charged with not complying with a state fatwa (edict) declaring the Sky Kingdom teachings as deviant.

Sa'adiah said according to a prosecution witness, her client had stated in the court: “Saya dah keluar Islam. (I have left Islam). Saya telah membuat pengakuan di Mahkamah Syariah di Kota Baru pada 1989. (I have made a declaration on this at the Syariah Court in Kota Baru in 1989.)”

Sa’adiah said the prosecution failed to prove that by uttering those words her client’s intention was to escape punishment under Section 10 of the enactment.

She pointed out that New Zealander Judith Lilian McDonald was charged ahead of Kamariah in the same court for committing the offence under Section 10 of the enactment.

But the prosecution dropped the charge against McDonald after she told the court that although she converted to Islam in Indonesia, the religion had left her heart a long time ago, Sa’adiah said.

Mustafar will make his submissions next Tuesday.