KUALA LUMPUR: News portal Malaysiakini’s video unit, KiniTV, and two of its top officers claimed trial this morning to four charges under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) over videos of a press conference by former Umno Batu Kawan vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan.
KiniTV was charged with two counts of uploading two videos, in Malay and English, of Khairuddin calling for the resignation of Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali.
The videos were said to have the intention to upset others.
Steven Gan, who is the editor-in-chief for KiniTV’s sister company Malaysiakini, and director Premesh Chandran, were slapped with two charges each for allegedly using their positions as directors to upload the videos online.
They face a fine up to RM50,000, or one year jail, or both if convicted.
Premesh was not in court today as he is on sabbatical leave in the United Kingdom. The charges against him were not read in court today.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Sophian Zakaria asked the court to impose bail of RM10,000 each, on KiniTV and Gan, saying that “bail is to secure their attendance”.
Lawyer Fahri Azzat objected to the high amount and cited cases of Zaid Ibrahim and Sivarasa Rasiah, who were also charged under the CMA, adding the court did not impose bail.
“My clients are not flight risks. Steven has been with Malaysiakini for 17 years, he works everyday.”
“Kinitv is a local company,” he said.
Judge Zaman Mohd Noor fixed bail at RM2,000 for each charge and fixed the next mention date on January 3.
KiniTV and their officers were also represented by K Shanmuga and James Khong while Ambiga Sreenevasan held a watching brief for the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM). – FMT