Blogger to serve three months' jail for contempt of court


PUTRAJAYA: A blogger will serve his three months' jail sentence for contempt of court after he failed to obtain leave to appeal a case in relation to the publication of defamatory articles on former Information, Communication and Culture Minister Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.

Blogger Amizudin Ahmat, 44 (pic), had failed to obtain leave from the Federal Court here to appeal against an earlier High Court decision, which had found him to be in contempt for publishing defamatory articles on Dr Rais despite a court order not to do so.

(Dr Rais had, on Feb 2, 2011, obtained an injunction order against the publication of articles on Amizudin's blog, which was not observed.

Subsequently, the High Court on Aug 10, 2012 held that Amizudin was guilty of contempt of court for breaching the court order, and sentenced him to a three-month custodial sentence.)

A five-member panel chaired by Federal Court judge Justice Ahmad Maarop issued the committal warrant against Amizudin after rejecting his application for leave to appeal.

He said Amizudin could not get leave as the legal questions posed by him did not meet the threshold requirement under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

An applicant in civil cases must first obtain leave (permission) from the Federal Court in order to bring their appeal to the Federal Court.

Justice Ahmad ordered Amizudin to serve the jail term from Thursday.

Amizudin's counsel, R. Sivarasa, said his client would be sent to the Kajang Prison.

The panel which also comprised Federal Court judges Justice Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali, Justice Abu Samah Nordin and Justice Ramly Ali had earlier heard submissions by Sivarasa.

The Court delivered its decision after informing Dr Rais' counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, that he need not reply to Sivarasa's submission.

On July 19, 2011, Dr Rais had won a defamation suit at the High Court, and Amizudin was ordered to pay him RM300,000 in damages and RM100,000 in costs.

He had filed the suit on Jan 31, 2011 over an article posted on Amizudin's blogsite, sharpshooterblogger.blogspot.com, on or about Dec 28, 2010.

The Court of Appeal had later upheld the High Court's decision to award Dr Rais RM300,000 in damages but reduced payment of costs from RM100,000 to RM50,000.

Amizudin lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal to set aside the three-month jail term on July 23, 2013 and subsequently filed leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

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Courts , Blogger , Rais Yatim , Contempt of court , Appeal

   

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