Sex bloggers, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here fixed Thursday to hear an application by sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee over the denial of bail by the Sessions Court.
Counsel Chong Joo Tian told reporters that the revision application would be heard before Justice Mohd Azman Husin.
In their application, counsel Chong submitted that there was no risk for his clients carrying out the same acts as per the three charges.
He said this was because all their electronic and computer equipment had been seized by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
He said if there was a risk, the court had the power to grant terms in the bail to prevent Tan and Lee from committing similar acts.
He said the denial of bail against his clients was a punishment by the court before trial.
" This is unfair and shows that the court has assumed that both applicants are guilty before the trial commences," he said.
On Thursday, Tan, 25, and Lee, 24, were jointly accused of three charges related to their Ramadan bak kut teh greeting on their Facebook page and pornographic pictures in their blogs.
Sessions judge Murtazadi Amran denied both accused bail.
Chong said the Sessions judge had erred on the side of law and fact when he decided that both applicants should be denied bail and jailed immediately on grounds of "public interest".
He submitted that "public interest" was served when the applicants were granted bail in such amount as was reasonable and appropriate to ensure their attendance in court.
"It is not "public interest" to jail both applicants by denying the bail and the decsision is aimed at following the claims of the politicians and several other civilians," he said.
He said the statements by politicians and civilians were in the form of "outside pressure" which should not take into consideration as a factor to deny bail.
He said the application by the deputy public prosecutor for the three charges to be jointly tried was out of Section 170(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code scope as the section was only applicable in three situations.
Chong said the three situations were if several persons being accused of the same offence; several persons being accused of different offences which were committed in the same transaction; and one person accused of committing an offence and another person is accused of abetting and attempting to commit the same offence.
Tan and Lee were accused of displaying pornographic images in their blog at Kompleks Mutiara, Jalan Ipoh here between July 6 and 7 from 9pm to 2am.
The second charge read that they had uploaded content, which has the possibility of stirring religious hostility between people of different beliefs, at a restaurant in Jalan Dang Wangi here from July 11 and 12 at about 10.48pm.
At the same time, Tan and Lee faced a third charge of publishing a seditious photograph of themselves eating bak kut teh on Facebook with the caption “Selamat Berbuka Puasa" at Kompleks Mutiara.
The posting had also carried a halal logo and the words wangi, enak, menyelerakan (fragrant, delicious, appetising).
They were charged under subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 (Act 620), Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act and Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code.