Allegedly defamatory article linked to Rafizi’s personal blog, court told

Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli (centre) is seen at the Jalan Duta court in Kuala Lumpur January 4, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak
Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli (centre) is seen at the Jalan Duta court in Kuala Lumpur January 4, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli’s personal blog was linked to an article where he allegedly defamed pilgrims’ fund Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH), a prosecution witness told the court today.

Testifiying in front of Magistrate Umzarul An Nur Umar as the prosecution’s first witness, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) Network and Surveillance Department head Hairul Anuar Mat Nor, 41, said he found a link to Rafizi’s personal blog after investigating the latter’s Facebook account where the article was shared.

“Further searching the Facebook account where the article was posted, I found that a link that connected directly to www.rafiziramli.com,’’ he said during the examination in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Nadia Zulkefli.

Hairul also testified that through the posting and pictures as well as information available on the Facebook account, he was able to establish that the account belonged to Rafizi.

He also explained the blog was registered under one Mohd Rafizi Ramli and an email, [email protected], with another phone number attached as the point of contact.

The phone number however was registered under one Ahmad Norfaiz Ahmad Foat, 28, a graphic designer employed with Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd.

Subsequently Norfaiz was called on as the second prosecution witness where he testified that he was only hired to set up the website on August 2010.

 ”I was approached via email by Rafizi Ramli stating he was interested in my services to set up a website. He needed help in registering the domain name www.rafiziramli.com, as well as hosting,’’ he said.

Norfaiz said the website is registered under Rafizi’s name, with his [email protected] address as its email address, and a listed physical address at Plaza Perangsang in Shah Alam.

When asked by DPP Jaizah Jaafar Sidek on how he knew the person he was communicating with was the PKR MP, Norfaiz said Rafizi introduced himself in the email.

During the reexamination by Jaizah, Norfaiz testified that he registered the website under his own number for technical purposes.

“A phone number is required for technical purposes such as DDoS (denial of service) attacks and cyber crimes,

“However after setting up the website and two weeks after Rafizi first communicated with me via email, I was no longer involved in any means or ways with the website,’’ he said.

The trial was adjourned today and will continue on Feb 6.

Rafizi is represented by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo, Haijan Omar, Adizulkarnain Faizal Rahman, and Nik Zarith.

He is being charged for posting an article under the heading, “Analisa Kewangan Tabung Haji 2009-2015” via his Facebook account on February 9, 2016, which allegedly contained defamatory words against Lembaga Tabung Haji.

He allegedly committed the offence at Tingkat 18, Bangunan Tabung Haji, 201, Jalan Tun Razak here, around 9 am on February 18, 2016.

The charge under Section 500 of the Penal Code for defamation can see imprisonment for up to two years, a fine or both.

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