KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — CEO of the Malaysiakini news portal Premesh Chandran was today charged with airing a video clip of a 2016 news conference about Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali deemed to be offensive.
Premesh pleaded not guilty to the two charges under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia (CMA) Act 1998 at the cyber court here.
He was also slapped with an additional two charges under Section 244(1) of the CMA in his capacity as director of the news portal’s video arm, KiniTV Sdn Bhd; similar to Malaysiakini chief editor-in-chief Steven Gan in November last year.
The video under the title “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali is not fit to be AG and he should quit immediately” was of a press conference held last July 27 by politician Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan was posted on the English and Bahasa Malaysia websites of KiniTV at different times.
Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA criminalises the improper use of network facilities by knowingly transmitting contents which are offensive, menacing, obscene, false and indecent with the intent to annoy, abuse or threaten another person.
Section 244(1) states that directors and other senior officers of a company are also liable for offences committed by the company and punishable under the same law.
If convicted of offences under Section 233(1)(a), Premesh could be jailed a maximum of one year or fined up to RM50,000, or both. He also faces an additional fine of RM1,000 a day if he continues the offence after conviction.
Section 244(1) of the CMA provides for the same penalties.
Lawyers for Premesh will file a constitutional challenge against the charges within the next two weeks, Malaysiakini reported.
The hearing dates will be fixed on June 15, when the case comes up for management.