Published: 11 August 2014
Royal Malaysian Air Force officer Major Zaidi Ahmad is being court martialled for making a media statement without the defence ministry’s permission, as well as sending two mobile messages which are said to be political in nature. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 11, 2014.
The military court hearing the trial of Major Zaidi Ahmad, charged with violating the armed forces’ orders on the use of the indelible ink during the general election, today rejected the prosecution’s application to submit a CD as evidence, saying the authenticity of its contents could be disputed.
The CD purportedly contains a recording of the press conference by Zaidi in front of a surau at the Kepala Batas police headquarters, after the early voting process on May 1, 2013, days before the 13th general election.
Zaidi’s counsel Mohamed Hanipa Maidin told the military court that the CD was only secondary evidence as the original copy had been wiped out, as admitted by an earlier witness, Lt. Col. Muhammad Rosli Yaakob, head of Provost Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF)
“Thus, this CD cannot be submitted as evidence,” Hanipa told a six-member panel of the court presided by Col Saadon Hasnan.
The other panel members were Lt Col Zainurin Mohd Dom, Major Khuzairi Mohd Arshad, Major Khairul Nizam Taib, Major S. Nadzeer Salehuddin and Major Noor Azman Ahmad.
Zaidi, 45, an RMAF officer, pleaded not guilty to four counts of violating the Malaysian Armed Forces Council’s orders on the use of the indelible ink last year.
The officer, from the air base in Butterworth, also pleaded not guilty to three other charges, namely for making a media statement without the authorisation of the Defence Ministry and sending two SMSes which were political in nature.
Taking the stand today, Rosli said he was the head of an inquiry board set up to investigate Zaidi for giving a media statement on the indelible ink, without his superiors’ consent.
Rosli admitted that the original copy recorded by two Provost Marshall officers using two cell phones were deleted after the content was transferred into a laptop for safety purposes.
The recording in the laptop was also deleted after it was burned into a CD for the same reason.
Hanipa argued that the evidence was now inadmissible as the court would not know if it was the original recording.
“How are we going to know that the copy we have is the original, since the original has been destroyed? And the witness himself has admitted this?” he asked. – August 11, 2014.