Mejar Zaidi Ahmad dibuang kerja selepas didapati bersalah melanggar perintah Majlis Angkatan Tentera dengan memberi kenyataan media tanpa kebenaran.
"Mahkamah secara sebulat suara menjatuhkan hukuman dibuang kerja dari perkhidmatan Seri Paduka Baginda," kata Yang Dipertua Mahkamah, Kolknel Saadon Hasnan.
Zaidi yang bercakap kepada media selepas mahkamah ditangguhkan petang ini bagaimanapun berkata enggan merayu terhadap hukuman itu.
Beliau menjawab ringkas "tak" sewaktu ditanya jika akan merayu kes ini.
"(Saya) terima takdir Allah," kata juruterbang pesawat pejuang Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) itu.
Ditanya wartawan jika beliau menyesal dengan keputusan hari ini, Zaidi menjawab ringkas , "Nak menyesal buat apa, kita buat benda betul".
Bagaimanapun, wajah Zaidi kelihatan seperti cuba menyembunyikan riak-riak kesedihannya.
Matanya kemerah-merahan dan senyumannya petang ini ringkas dan tidak seceria sebelum ini apabila melemparkan pandangan kepada lensa kamera.
Beliau juga hanya bercakap ringkas kepada wartawan sewaktu menjawab soalan.
Sebelum itu, dalam galeri mahkamah Zaidi juga kelihatan sugul selepas keluar dari kandang tertuduh apabila hukuman dijatuhkan.
"Kita berjumpa di mahkamah Allah Taala pula nanti."
Itulah kata-kata Mejar Zaidi Ahmad yang didapati bersalah oleh Mahkamah Tentera atas tuduhan memberi kenyataan media tanpa izin Majlis Angkatan Tentera.
Pesanan itu disampaikan Zaidi selepas beliau diberi amaran bakal berhadapan tuduhan menghina mahkamah jika terus mahu menyebut faktor politik dalam keterangannya untuk meringankan hukuman ke atasnya.
"Semua ini adalah kehendak penguasa politik. Tanyalah budak sepuluh tahun sekalipun, siapa yang betul - yang bercakap benar atau menipu?”
"Apabila berhadapan situasi politik, perut adalah lebih penting daripada kepala," katanya sewaktu memberi keterangan dalam proses mitigasi hukuman.
Hujah Zaidi itu bagaimana pun dibantah oleh Yang Dipertua Mahkamah, Kolonel Saadon Hasnan.
"Jangan sebut 'penguasa politik' kerana dalam mahkamah tentera kita adalah impartial (saksama) dan apolitical (tidak bersifat politik)," kata Saadon.
Seorang lagi ahli mahkamah, Mejar Khuzairi Mohd Arshad kemudian mengingatkan Zaidi bahawa hujah untuk meringankan hukuman kebiasaannya bersifat "menyesal", "tidak mahu mengulangi kesalahan," dan "faktor-faktor luar" yang boleh dipertimbangkan.
Kedengaran seperti berang dengan peringatan itu, Zaidi yang bercakap dari kandang tertuduh mewakili dirinya sendiri meninggikan suara apabila menjawab peringatan Khuzairi ketika meneruskan hujahnya.
"Kamu pegawai, saya pun pegawai!
"Kamu dapati saya bersalah dan itu adalah sesuatu yang besar!"
Pada waktu ini Zaidi sekali lagi dipotong percakapannya oleh Saadon.
"Sebut secara bersopan. Dan jangan sampai saya dakwa kamu menghina mahkamah pula nanti," tegas Saadon.
Zaidi kemudian menjawab, "Saya sudah berkhidmat selama 26 tahun.
"Janganlah saya dianggap sebagai seorang kanak-kanak kecil.
"Sekarang saya tak perlu cakap apa-apa.
"Kita berjumpa di mahkamah Allah Taala pula nanti," kata Zaidi.
Saadon kemudian menangguhkan mahkamah buat sementara waktu kerana "keadaan yang tegang" serta bagi memberi peluang kepada Zaidi untuk "membuat rayuan yang wajar".- mk
Peguam utama Zaidi tak hadir tanda protes
Major Zaidi seloroh dia kini penoreh getah
Wings clipped, major refuses to appeal...
Major Zaidi Ahmad has been dismissed from the Air Force after being found guilty of speaking to the media about indelible ink used in the 13th general election without approval from the Armed Forces Council.
He was hauled to face military court last year after he lodged a police report that indelible ink used in the GE could be washed off.
The sentence was delivered by Military Court judge Colonel Saadon Hasnan today.
Prosecutor Captain Ross Anuar Aripin had requested the court to consider a stiffer punishment for the pilot as it would serve as a lesson for others.
"We request that the punishment would not just teach a lesson to the convicted, but also to those out there - especially armed forces' members - not to repeat this offence.
"The offence which has been committed by Zaidi is a serious offence to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF)," he said.
'He saved my hand from amputation'
Meanwhile, Zaidi called on Ahmad Yusof Ishak as a witness in his mitigation statement.
Ahmad Yusof is a former army officer who was aided by Zaidi in an accident while serving in Bosnia.
According to him, he had been involved in an accident wherein the truck he was driving had toppled over.
Zaidi, who was in the same convoy as him, had helped in transporting him to the hospital via a United Nations helicopter, where the same journey would have taken six hours by ambulance.
Ahmad Yusof added that Zaidi was also influential in being a mediator between him and the doctors, as he was not fluent in English.
This saved his left hand from being amputated and the nerve was instead replaced with a nerve from his thigh.
"Here, I would like to express my gratitude to Major Zaidi on his efficiency and initiative in handling the situation.
"I feel indebted to him and I plead that the court reduces the sentence which has been meted on him," he added.
'I don't regret doing the right thing'
Zaidi is charged with breaching Paragraph 13, No 12 of the Armed Forces Council Instruction.
He is also charged with breaching Paragraph 3 by revealing official communications to the media without prior approval from his superiors.
Zaidi has also previously expressed his frustration that the court decided to continue with the case ahead of a judicial review on the charge, to be heard by the High Court on Feb 5 this year.
Speaking to reporters later, Major Zaidi said he would not appeal against the verdict.
"I accept this as Allah's fate (for me)," he added but his expression failed to conceal his sadness.
Asked if he regretted the decision, the defiant pilot replied: "What is there to regret, I did the right thing."
See you in Allah's court, Zaidi tells judges
Meanwhile,Air Force Major Zaidi Ahmad told the panel of judges in his military court hearing that they will be judged in the court of Allah.
He said this after the court found Zaidi guilty of making a statement on the indelible ink used in the 13th general election to the media, without the approval of the Armed Forces Council.
"We shall meet in the court of Allah later," Zaidi said in his mitigation statement today.
He said this after being warned that he faced accusations of insulting the court if he persisted in bringing up politics in his statement to reduce his sentence.
"When faced with a political situation, the stomach is more important than the head," Zaidi had remarked.
However, the presiding judge in the case, Colonel Saadon Hasnan, refuted what Zaidi stated in court.
“Do not mention ‘political rulers’ because, in the military court, we are all impartial and apolitical,” Saadon said.
Another member of the court panel, Major Khuzairi Mohd Arshad, reminded Zaidi that the normal mitigating statement to reduce his sentence should be centred around “regret” and not on “repeating the offence” or “other external factors”.
Zaidi upon hearing this raised his voice and replied angrily towards Khuzairi.
“You’re an officer, I am an officer too. You find that I am guilty and now it is a big thing!” he shouted.
Zaidi was then cut short by Saadon, who sternly reminded him to speak politely or he would be in contempt of court, to which Zaidi replied, “I have been serving for 26 years already. Do not take me for a kid.
“I do not have to say anything now. We shall meet in the Court of Allah Ta’ala later.”
Saadon then adjourned the court to relieve “the tense situation” and give Zaidi a chance to “make a fair appeal” on his conviction. - mk
Major Zaidi's lawyer stood down as sign of protest...
Hanipa, a PAS central committee member, described Zaidi's case as “a travesty of justice” following the court's decision in finding his client guilty and dismissing him from the force despite a stellar career.
His reasons for not attending the case today include:
No written grounds given in maintaining the remaining two charges, although the court had decided to drop five of the seven charges;
The presiding judge Colonel Saadon Hasnan had made an adverse posting on
Zaidi's Facebook page before calling Zaidi's defence. Following this,
his lawyers have alleged bias;
Zaidi had made an affidavit over the Facebook posting, and this was not rebutted by Saadon or other court judges.
Hanipa said if Saadon wanted to deny it, he should have lodged a police report or submitted an affidavit in reply.
“To my understanding there was no police report lodged”;
The hearing to disqualify the panel was not entertained following the posting;
The defence wanted to call Saadon as a defence witness, but this was also turned down by the court; and
- The defence wanted to have the court declare this as a mistrial, and this too was thrown out by the military court.
Look in the mirror
The Sepang MP said before threatening to cite Zaidi for contempt, the military court should look itself in the mirror and consider how it had breached natural justice.
"As Saadon is the presiding officer, we truly felt there is a miscarriage of justice when our application to disqualify him or to call him as a witness was dismissed," he told Malaysiakini.
Zaidi was today dismissed from the Royal Malaysian Air Force for making a statement to the media about the deficiency of the indelible ink to the media during the 13th general election, without authorisation from his superior.- mk
Dishonourably discharged, indelible ink whistle-blower quips he’ll now tap rubber
Posing untuk Utusan Meloya dan TV3 suku...