Malaysiakini

Cops revisit Malaysiakini, leave with writer's email

The police visited Malaysiakini office this afternoon for the second consecutive day to continue their investigation into a reader's letter regarding the 'no compulsion in Islam' remark by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

NONEThey met with Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan, chief executive officer Premesh Chandran and chief editor Fathi Aris Omar for about half-an-hour.

The Malaysiakini management was accompanied by human rights lawyer Murnie Hidayah Anuar.

With the consent of the letter writer, Steve Oh, Malaysiakini handed over his email address to the police.

"I do not want you (Malaysiakini) to lose your computers so please feel free to give the police my email details under protest and offer them every cooperation...," Oh said in an open letter today.

The police left soon after. Unlike yesterday, when statements were taken from three Malaysiakini staff, no statement was recorded today.

NONEThe team led by Subang Jaya police headquarters senior investigating officer ASP Nadzri Harun consisted of seven personnel, about half of yesterday's 15-member team.

They arrived at the news portal's headquarters in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur, at 4pm and left at around 4.30pm.

New search warrant

On arrival, the police produced a new search warrant issued by a magistrate in Petaling Jaya, under Section 298 of Penal Code. They did not confiscate any item from Malaysiakini.

Their search warrant yesterday was issued under the Sedition Act, which could have been an error on the part of the police.

NaNONEdzri reiterated that the investigation was being carried out under Section 298 of the Penal Code, not the Sedition Act.

The section deals with the offence of "uttering words ... with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person".

If found guilty, the offender can be punished with imprisonment for up to one year, with a fine or both.

The letter being investigated was authored by Oh and published by Malaysiakini on Monday, titled 'Nurul's watershed idea for the nation'.

Yesterday, the police spent 90 minutes recording statements from Fathi, news editor Gerald Martinez and human resource manager A Shamini.

NONEGan (left) described today's meeting with the police as cordial.

"None of our computers was confiscated. As such, our work has not been unduly disrupted," he said.

Malaysiakini was raided by the police in 2003 and 19 computers were seized. That incident was also over a letter to the editor written by a reader.

However, no charge was filed and the case was eventually closed two years later.

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