Woman told to answer apostasy charge

Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia - The Syariah High Court here found that a follower of the Ayah Pin sect was still a Muslim when she declared apostasy last year and ordered her to enter defence.

Judge Mohammad Abdullah said there was a prima facie case against Kamariah Ali based on facts provided by four witnesses.

“Based on the facts provided by officer Wan Mohamad Wan Yaakob, the court found that the accused was still a Muslim when she declared apostasy at Besut Lower Syariah Court on July 21, 2005,” Mohammad said yesterday.

Wan Mohamad, a National Registration Department officer in Kelantan, was the second witness for the prosecution and had produced an extract of a registration document stating that Kamariah was a Muslim.

The court also set Feb 6 and 7 next year for the hearing and allowed Kamariah’s bail to be continued.

Chief Syariah Prosecution Officer Mustafar Hamzah prosecuted while the accused was represented by her defence counsel Sa’adiah Din.

Sa’adiah also requested the court to allow her client to give sworn declaration from the dock during the hearing process.

Kamariah, a graduate from al-Azhar University of Egypt was charged under Section 7 of the Syariah Criminal Offence Enactment (Takzir) Terengganu 2001, for declaring apostasy, she could face a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years’ jail or both upon conviction.