Federal Court to hear Mkini Dotcom’s review against contempt decision on Oct 12

Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan arrives at the Federal Court in Putrajaya February 19, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan arrives at the Federal Court in Putrajaya February 19, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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PUTRAJAYA,  July 23 — The Federal Court has fixed October 12 to hear Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd’s application to review the court’s decision which found the company that operates news portal Malaysiakini, guilty of contempt of court over five readers’ comments.

Lawyer A. Surendra Ananth, when contacted, confirmed the hearing date following case management today.

He said the review hearing would be conducted online.

Mkini Dotcom, in its review application, is seeking to set aside the Federal Court’s decision which found the company guilty of contempt of court and wants the Federal Court to rehear the contempt application.

On February 19 this year, the Federal Court seven-member bench led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf, in a 6-1 majority decision, found Mkini Dotcom guilty of contempt of court for facilitating the publication of five readers’ comments and fined the company RM500,000.

Mkini Dotcom has paid the fine.

The court, however, found Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan not guilty of contempt of court.

In the majority decision, Justice Rohana had said the comments which were facilitated to be published by Mkini Dotcom have besmirched the good name of the judiciary as a whole and have subverted the course of administration of justice, undermined public confidence, offended the dignity, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

On June 17 last year, the Federal Court allowed Attorney General’s (AG) ex-parte application to obtain leave to commence committal proceedings against Mkini Dotcom and Gan in relation to the readers’ comments on an article published by Malaysiakini on June 9 entitled “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1” which was deemed offensive.

On July 2 the same year, Mkini Dotcom and Gan failed to set aside the leave obtained by AG to commence committal proceedings against them.

The apex court judges who delivered the majority decision were Justice Rohana, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Federal Court judge Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, who dissented, held that Mkini Dotcom and Gan were not liable for contempt. — Bernama

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