Borders bookstore has struck back at the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) and its chief prosecutor’s endless persecution of their manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, giving them a week to honour two court orders to drop its case.
In a legal letter dated May 5, Borders has given Jawi and its chief prosecutor seven days from receiving the letter to comply with the courts or face the prospect of committal proceedings.
Malaysiakini sighted a copy of the letter by Borders’ appointed law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen and Gledhill and hand delivered to Jawi and its chief prosecutor, which warned that they could be found in contempt of both the court orders by theHigh Court on March 22, 2013 and the Court of Appeal dated Dec 30, 2014.
The letter was received on the same day, and they therefore have until Tuesday to comply.
Borders’ move follows Jawi and the chief prosecutor's refusal to honour Nik Raina’s discharge not amounting to acquittal given by the Syariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur, whereby initially the authorities had refused to drop the proceedings following the Court of Appeal decision which upheld the civil High Court decision.
Jawi is appealing against the Syariah High Court decision at the Syariah Court of Appeal on the grounds that they have also appealed against the civil Court of Appeal's Order.
As pointed out by Borders, Jawi and the chief prosecutor had misled the Syariah High Court because the two parties have yet to obtain leave (permission) to appeal at the Federal Court over the Court of Appeal and High Court decisions.
Nik Raina scapegoated
Borders described Jawi's actions in continuing to pursue and not complying with the civil court orders as forcing a conflict of laws, which the bookstore wanted to avoid.
Previously, it was reported that Nik Raina had written to the Yang di Pertuan Agong asking his highness’ intervention to stop Jawi's persecution on her.
She had been charged with selling the controversial book by Irshad Manji titled ‘Allah, Liberty and Love” on March 23, 2012. The problem arose because she was charged before the book was banned by the Home Ministry, six days later.
Although Nik Raina maintains her role was merely to manage the popular bookstore in which Manji’s book happened to be on sale, she has become the target as Jawi cannot bring a company or non-Muslims to court.
Critics have called the authorities’ relentless persecution of the manager as malicious, as she is merely a victim of circumstance.