High Court Judge Dato' Abdul Rahman set aside the order, saying the Magistrate was wrong in ordering the unconditional release of the seized items to Datu Mohd Akjan Ali Mohd.
In doing so, he exercised his reversionary powers to the prosecution's application on behalf of the police for criminal revision of the order by the magistrate to release Mohd Akjan's belongings that included the coronation items, ipad and five phones.
Abdul Rahman's view was that the requirement under Section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Code was not mandatory, "where the property seized, is property seized from a person suspected of committing a criminal offence and that property seized is necessary for purposes of police investigation."
"An example of such property would be a knife suspected to have been used by the suspected person to commit an offence such as murder.
It is not mandatory for the police to report to the magistrate any such property seized from such person for purposes of disposal under Section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
"In the present case, the respondent is a person suspected of committing a criminal offence and the properties seized were the properties that the police required for carrying out their investigation.
"The magistrate was, therefore, wrong in ordering an unconditional release of the seized items to the respondent," held Abdul Rahman.
At a previous hearing, Abdul Rahman had directed both parties to submit their arguments on the issue of Section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that the seizure or finding by any police officer of property should immediately be reported to a magistrate.
The Magistrate's Court, had on Dec. 16, 2011, made an order to release all the 33 items unconditionally to the respondent, who filed the application.
On Dec. 29 the same year, the High Court allowed a police application to stay the order of the magistrate for the release of the items pending the application for criminal revision against the order.
The items were seized when the respondent was detained on May 15, 2011 and remanded for seven days to facilitate police investigations on him being proclaimed Sulu Sultan in a private ceremony in Kg Likas in February the same year.
He was released later without condition on May 22 the same year.
The prosecution in their application for criminal revision applied for the High Court to set aside the order made by the Magistrate and remit the case back to Magistrate's Court to re-hear the application.
The prosecution also alternatively applied to the court to rule that the application was made under the wrong Section (Section 413 of the CPC) and urged the court to dismiss the application by the respondent.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Raja Zaizul Faridah Raja Zaharuddin together with DPP Uma Devi Balasubramaniam, who appeared for the prosecution, informed the court to put on record that one of the seized handphone SIMcards, which was returned unconditionally to the respondent, was not returned to the prosecution because the SIMcard is now lost.
Counsel PJ Perira together with counsel Ariel Dasan represented Mohd Akjan.