Reporter to face criminal defamation charge for accusing physician of molest online

Tashny said she will be charged tomorrow morning at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex. — Reuters pic
Tashny said she will be charged tomorrow morning at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Journalist Tashny Sukumaran said she will be charged with criminal defamation over a series of tweets last year alleging inappropriate physical contact during a medical examination.

On Twitter, she said she will be charged tomorrow morning at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim.

“I am now being charged in the criminal courts because I came forward to expose a harasser,” Tashny said.

The charge stems from the physician’s police report against her over her public tweets.

She further claimed her own police report against the physician was closed due to insufficient evidence.

Tashny said she also filed a complaint with the Malaysian Medical Council, but did not say what happened with this.

The journalist went on to question Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’s commitment to preserving freedom of expression, noting that her impending charge came under a week after he said the right continued to exist in Malaysia.

Criminal defamation in Malaysia is covered under Section 499 of the Penal Code that was inherited from the British.

The offence is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both upon conviction.


 

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