Alvin Tan fled Malaysia to avoid trial, witness tells court

Lawyer Chong Joo Tian speaks to reporters while his client, the mother of sex blogger Alvin Tan, with cap covering her face, listens quietly, in Kuala Lumpur on August 5, 2013. A witness today claimed that Tan fled from Malaysian to avoid trial proceedings against him. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Lawyer Chong Joo Tian speaks to reporters while his client, the mother of sex blogger Alvin Tan, with cap covering her face, listens quietly, in Kuala Lumpur on August 5, 2013. A witness today claimed that Tan fled from Malaysian to avoid trial proceedings against him. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — A witness told the Sessions Court here that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) believes that controversial blogger Alvin Tan has fled to the United States to avoid attending trial proceedings against him.

MCMC Enforcement and Investigation Division assistant director Akmal Hamdy Baharudin, 32, said it was based on a report obtained from the police.

“MCMC made a request to Interpol and subsequently a ‘Red Notice’ was issued to detect Tan and allow for him to be arrested if he entered any of the (member) countries,” he said when questioned by DPP Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

Tan had failed to attend court for the first time on June 13, 2014 during the mention of the case.

The court issued an arrest warrant for Tan as he failed to return his passport to the court after it was released to him for travel to Singapore, to film a documentary.

However, the court proceeded with the trial against Tan’s ex-girlfriend, Vivian Lee, despite his absence.

Akmal Hamdy was the 18th prosecution witness in the trial of Alvin Tan or Tan Jye Yee, and Vivian Lee or Lee May Ling, who were charged with posting pictures of themselves enjoying a meal with the caption ‘Happy Iftar (with Bak Kut Teh ... fragrant, delicious and appetising)’ along with a halal logo, on their Facebook page.

They were charged with committing the offence at 9am, on July 12, 2013, according to Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948.

They were also accused of displaying pornographic images on the same Facebook page in accordance with subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 between 9pm July 6, 2013 and 2am July 7, 2013.

The trial before Judge Abdul Rashid Daud will resume on February 24. — Bernama

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