Lawyer: Fahmi Reza out this evening as magistrate gave just one-day remand in Spotify playlist probe

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza was held overnight by the police for an investigation over his satirical work involving a Spotify playlist. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Graphic artist Fahmi Reza was held overnight by the police for an investigation over his satirical work involving a Spotify playlist. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 ― Graphic artist Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin will be released this evening after being held overnight by the police for an investigation over his satirical work involving a Spotify playlist as a magistrate only granted the police one day of remand, his lawyer said.

Lawyer Rajsurian Pillai, who attended the remand proceedings this morning before magistrate Nitya Ravindran, said the police had asked for four days of remand on Fahmi for their investigations.

However, Rajsurian said the magistrate only allowed the police to keep Fahmi until 5pm or 6pm, which meant he “will be released today itself”.

Rajsurian noted that the police have also yet to take Fahmi’s statement despite having him in their custody since yesterday and will instead record this at noon today.

Lawyer Yohendra Nadarajan, who also represented Fahmi, was also present in this morning’s remand proceedings.

Fahmi was held overnight at the Dang Wangi police lock-up, Rajsurian confirmed.

Asked about the arguments raised during the remand proceedings from 10.30am to 11am, Rajsurian said the police had applied under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code to detain Fahmi beyond 24 hours on grounds that they were unable to complete investigations.

In seeking four-days remand, the police had cited the need to record Fahmi’s statement and to take his photograph as well as his fingerprints, Rajsurian said.

Rajsurian said Fahmi’s lawyers countered that these were not real justifications to detain him another four days as recording his statement, photographing and fingerprinting him could be done in a matter of hours.

“Fahmi is not a flight risk and won’t run away, he cannot tamper with any evidence, the police have already seized his phone and laptop.

“There is no real reason to keep him in lock-up while investigating. He has always cooperated with police whenever asked to, for this case and for any other cases,” Rajsurian said of the arguments presented by Fahmi’s lawyers in arguing against a four-day remand.

The police also argued that Fahmi’s was a high-profile sedition case as it involved the Raja Permaisuiri, but the lawyer said they argued that this was not relevant to remand and up to the courts to decide if the graphics designer were to be charged.

The magistrate then granted a one-day remand.

Separately, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Huzir Mohamed confirmed that the magistrate allowed a one-day remand on Fahmi.

Last night, Huzir had in a statement confirmed his department’s arrest of Fahmi, following police reports over alleged insults against the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

The police said that the investigation was linked to a Facebook post on Fahmi Reza's Facebook account containing the queen’s photo and information regarding a playlist of songs in the form of a remark “This Is Dengki Ke? 💛 100 dengki songs, all in one playlist.”, as well as a Spotify playlist featuring the queen’s photo labelled with the words “This is Dengki Ke” and with the playlist featuring songs containing the word “jealousy”.

Dengki is the Malay word for resentment due to envy or jealousy.

The police said that the investigation was linked to a Facebook post containing the queen’s photo and information regarding a playlist of songs, as well as a Spotify playlist that carried the words “This is Dengki Ke” and the queen’s photo.

The police had also said yesterday that investigations are being carried out under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

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