An airforce major being court martialled for blowing the whistle on the indelible ink used in Election 2013 won an early reprieve today when a military court set aside five charges against him for going public. But Major Zaidi Ahmad remains in the dock with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) court, however, over two other charges for sending messages of a political nature. “I am thankful that at least in this early stage we can show that the charges were not right,” said lawyer Hanipa Maidin who is representing the major. Hanipa explained that the military court today set aside as defective five charges for violating council orders on the use of indelible ink during the election and for making a statement without the authorisation of the Defence Ministry. But the Sepang MP explained that the prosecution could still amend the charges later.
“To me all these charges shouldn’t have been filed in the beginning, he was just exercising his rights provided for in the Constitution regarding the complaint about the indelible ink but the whole charge sheet was focused on one point, which is about the indelible which didn’t last,” he said outside the courtroom.
The RMAF court today also decided to hear the remaining two charges against Zaidi for sending text messages that were political in nature on May 1 last year, from June 10 to 12.
On February 7, Zaidi was slapped with the charges in the RMAF court here, and claimed trial to all seven. The charges stemmed from his public complaints over the inefficacy of the indelible ink used to prevent repeat voting, when it had been applied on him during early voting for the 13th general election. If found guilty, Zaidi could lose his employment, pension and face up to two years in jail.