In Kuala Lumpur, ex-prisoner jailed and fined for insulting King a third time

Judge M.M Edwin Paramjothy meted out the sentence on Sharil Mohd Sarif, 38, after he changed his plea to guilty during the mention of the case today. — Reuters pic
Judge M.M Edwin Paramjothy meted out the sentence on Sharil Mohd Sarif, 38, after he changed his plea to guilty during the mention of the case today. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — A former prisoner who has been in and out of jail for insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on social media, was jailed for a year and fined RM20,000, in default six months’ jail, by the Sessions Court here today for the same offence.

Judge M.M Edwin Paramjothy meted out the sentence on Sharil Mohd Sarif, 38, after he changed his plea to guilty during the mention of the case today.

The court also ordered the accused to serve the jail term starting from the date he was arrested on August 24.

The accused was also fined RM1,000, in default three months’ jail, for being a repeat offender.

During sentencing, Edwin said the accused had gone too far and his actions in insulting the King had violated the freedom of speech provided under the Federal Constitution.

“The accused is not remorseful at all, even though the court has given several opportunities, he repeatedly commits the same offence,” said Edwin.

Sharil was charged with making and initiating the transmission of offensive communications against His Majesty with the intention to annoy others via Twitter using the profile name “Sharil bin Mohd Sarif” at 7.43am on April 20, 2021.

The link was then read at the Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Division Office, Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Wangsa Maju, here, at 1.30pm, on April 20.

He was charged with improperly using the network facilities under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to one year or both while Section 233 (3) of the same Act also empowers the court to impose a further fine of RM1,000 for subsequent offences.

Earlier during mitigation, the accused, who was unrepresented, appealed for the jail sentence to start from the date of his arrest on the grounds that he has three children who are still in school and his wife died in June.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Najihah Farhana Che Awang pressed for a deterrent sentence because the accused had two previous convictions for similar offences.

“The accused did not show remorse even though he had been imprisoned before for the same offence.

“The sentences that were handed down did not bring repentance to the accused. I ask for a heavier sentence as a lesson to the accused and the public,” she said.

Previously, the accused had been sentenced to two months’ jail in 2019 and 10 months’ jail last year by the same court for similar offences. — Bernama

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