KUALA LUMPUR: Blogger Amizudin Ahmat has been jailed three months for contempt of court over 11 contemptuous articles against Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim in his blog.
High Court judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof held that Amizudin had breached the court order many times and was guilty of contempt of court.
“I impose a three-month custodial sentence effective from today,” the judge said yesterday.
Amizudin who appeared stunned, admitted to the judge that he had committed a mistake and apologised.
However, Justice Zabariah told Amizudin that he should have asked his lawyer, especially if he did not understand the court ruling.
Pleading for leniency yesterday, his lawyer Ahmad Nizam Hamid said the court had the discretion not to impose a jail sentence and instead issue a warning.
Ahmad Nizam asked the court to take note that Amizudin had apologised for his actions.
However, Dr Rais’ lead counsel Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah pressed for a jail sentence saying that Amizudin had disregarded four court orders — including an order where the blogger had consented to an injunction in relation to the defamation suit filed by Dr Rais against him.
He asked the court to send Amizudin to jail for an appropriate term which could act as a lesson for him and others.
Dr Muhammad Shafee said if it (the action) was only once, it could possibly be considered a mistake but the blogger had done so on 11 occasions.
Amizudin was accused of breaching a court order, which had issued an injunction preventing him from publishing any similar offending words against Dr Rais in his blog.
When contacted, the blogger’s co-counsel Latheefa Koya said: “This is a civil contempt. Since no contempt order was served to contemnor (Amizudin) by 4pm, we managed to get him out today,” she said.
Latheefa said that they would file a formal application for a stay and appeal against the court ruling.
Dr Rais, 70, had filed the application on Nov 10, last year, for a committal order against Amizudin for being in contempt of court.
Dr Rais, who won his defamation suit at the High Court on July 4, last year, had been awarded RM300,000 after the blogger implied that the minister had raped his Indonesian maid.
The Court of Appeal had later upheld the High Court’s decision saying that the award was not high in view of Dr Rais high social standing.
It, however, reduced the costs from RM100,000 to RM50,000.