Malaysiakini editor-in-chief charged with airing offensive video

Steven Gan, Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief, is charged for airing an offensive video on the news portal's website. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Steven Gan, Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief, is charged for airing an offensive video on the news portal's website. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan was charged today at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Special (Cyber) Court with allegedly airing an offensive video on the news portal’s website.

He claimed trial to two charges under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia (CMA) Act 1998 for airing the video on KiniTV’s website.

He was also slapped with two separate charges under Section 244(1) of CMA in his capacity as one of the directors of KiniTV Sdn Bhd.

Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA criminalises improper use of network facilities by knowingly transmitting contents which are offensive, menacing, obscene, false and indecent with the intent to annoy, abuse or threaten another person.

Section 244(1) states that directors and other senior officers of a company are also liable for offences committed by the company and punishable under the same law.

The video was of a press conference held by Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan titled “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali is not fit to be AG and he should quit immediately”, and was uploaded to the English and Bahasa Malaysia websites of KiniTV last July 27, at different times.

Sessions Court judge Zaman Mohd Noor fixed bail at a personal bond of RM2,000 without surety, for each of the four charges, and fixed January 3 for case management.

If convicted of offences under Section 233(1)(a), Gan could be jailed a maximum of one year or fined up to RM50,000, or both. He also faces an additional fine of RM1,000 a day if he continues the offence after conviction.

Section 244(1) of the CMA provides for the same penalties.

Gan and KiniTV were represented by counsel Fahri Azzat, K. Shanmuga and James Khong while Mohd Sophian Zakaria prosecuted for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

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