Teenager gets reprieve from one-year jail sentence over Facebook insult against Johor prince

A teenager has won release from prison pending his appeal against a jail sentence for Facebook insults against the Johor crown prince. — File pic
A teenager has won release from prison pending his appeal against a jail sentence for Facebook insults against the Johor crown prince. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — A teenager today was released from prison pending his appeal against a one-year jail sentence for Facebook insults against the Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Muhammad Amirul Azwan Mohd Shakri’s lawyer Jimmy Puah confirmed that the Johor Baru High Court had agreed to let the 19-year-old out from prison on a RM2,000 bail.

“Today we filed an application for stay of execution, we are asking court to release him pending our appeal hearing.

“End of the day the judge allowed our application. He is allowed to be bailed with one surety RM2,000 on the condition he has to report to Tumpat police station in Kelantan on 13 September,” Puah told Malay Mail Online when contacted today, confirming that his client has been released on the bail posted by his parents.

According to Puah, Johor Baru High Court judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak had fixed September 15 — initially fixed for mention only — for the hearing of the appeal against the jail sentence as he felt the “urgency” of the matter.

The teenager from Kelantan will have to report to the Tumpat police station to allow the police to bring him down to Johor Baru for the September 15 hearing, Puah said.

Puah said his client has been under police custody since he was arrested on April 28 and was in the Kota Baru prison prior to today’s bail posting.

“Initially he was in prison in Johor, after we filed the appeal and the family personally appealed to prison department, so they transferred him back to Kelantan.

“The jail sentence is concurrent from 28 April. All together he has served four months,” he said.

Lawyer Hassan Karim had together with Puah today represented Muhammad Amirul Azwan, who was not represented by any lawyers on June 7 when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a jail term that runs concurrently for one year.

On June 7, Muhammad Amirul Azwan who was working as a labourer, had pleaded guilty to all 14 counts under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act over his posting of insulting Facebook comments.

Those convicted under Section 233 are liable to a maximum RM50,000 fine or a maximum one-year jail term or both.

Johor Baru sessions court judge Sabariah Atan had on June 7 sentenced Muhammad Amirul Azwan to a one-year jail term for each of the 14 counts and ordered that it run concurrently from his arrest date.

The appeal against his jail sentence was filed on June 13, Puah said.

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