Kuala Lumpur: A prominent ethnic-Indian lawyer in Malaysia was today sentenced to 30 months in prison for writing a seditious letter accusing the government of oppressing the country's minority community.
P Uthayakumar, 50, was sentenced to two years six months prison for writing an open letter in 2007 addressed to the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown seeking his help to protect ethnic-Indians in the country.
Sessions Court Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain ruled that Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) founder Uthayakumar had failed to raise reasonable doubt.
He found Uthayakumar guilty of the charge, adding that his actions under the Seditious Act 1948 were a serious offense, The Star online reported.
"Would you like to say anything in mitigation, though you have so far taken the stand not to submit, in protest," the judge asked Uthayakumar before handing out the sentence.
Uthayakumar had earlier refused to submit his defence, claiming that it was in protest to how Indians in Malaysia were being treated.
Uthayakumar remained stoic when his sentence was read and chose not to apply for a stay of execution. He was sent to Kajang prison.
The former Internal Security Act detainee, was charged on December 11, 2007, with publishing a seditious letter on the Police Watch Malaysia website addressed to Brown.
He had made the declaratory application (to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional), in a bid to have the charge against him under the Act to be revoked and the prosecution in the proceedings in the Sessions Court be struck out.