Bid by KiniTV directors to refer question to High Court dismissed

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A bid by KiniTV Sdn Bhd and its two directors to refer a constitutional question on two charges against them to the High Court was dismissed by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions (Cyber) Court yesterday afternoon.

With this, judge Zaman Mohd Noor ordered hearing on the case to commence on May 15.

Zaman found that the charge under Section 233 (1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) is constitutional.

KiniTV, its editor-in-chief Steven Gan and chief executive officer Premesh Chandran have been charged with uploading two videos quoting former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan hurling abuses at the attorney-general.

The applicants’ grounds were that the charges were unconstitutional and violated freedom of expression on the internet.

Communications and Multimedia Commission chief prosecutor Mohd Sophian Zakaria argued that Section 233 did not restrict but allowed freedom of expression on the Internet, save for obscene, offensive or fake material, to safeguard public order and morality.

KiniTV, which is owned by Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, is accused of making and sending offensive material through two versions of a video titled, "Khairuddin: Apandi Ali tidak layak jadi AG, wajar segera letak jawatan" and "Khairuddin: Apandi Ali not fit to be AG, he should quit immediately".

KiniTV was represented by Farhan Haziq.

KiniTV was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA while Gan and Premesh were charged under Section 244(1) of the same Act, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or up to a year's imprisonment upon conviction.

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