KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysiakini editors Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran were acquitted by the Sessions Court today of uploading a video critical of former attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali.
Judge Edwin Paramjothy ordered the acquittal of Gan, who is editor-in-chief of Malaysiakini, and Premesh, who is CEO, after Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) prosecuting officer Nazrul Nizam Mohd Zameri told the court they wished to withdraw the charges.
Nazrul urged the court to grant the editors a discharge not amounting to acquittal as the case had not gone for trial.
However, the duo’s lawyer Fahri Azzat told the court that both should be given a full acquittal as the individual who had criticised Apandi in the video, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, was not charged in court for his statement.
Khairuddin, who is former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief, had called for Apandi’s resignation two years ago.
But Fahri said Apandi was no longer the AG, adding that it was unfair for the editors to have charges hanging over them.
The charges against Gan and Premesh were made under Section 244 (1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA). They were accused of using their position as directors to upload Khairuddin’s video on Kinitv.
Kinitv was slapped with two charges under Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA for allegedly uploading the video with the intention of upsetting others.
These are the latest charges to be dropped against politicians and civil activists following the May 9 general election.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers has so far discontinued charges against such individuals under the Sedition Act, Peaceful Assembly Act and the CMA.