KUALA LUMPUR: The court has set Mar 10 for activist Lena Hendry to enter a defence against a charge of screening “No Fire Zone”, a documentary that had not been approved by the Censorship Board.
Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris said on Wednesday he would deliver a verdict after going through the submissions by the prosecution and defence.
Lawyer New Sin Yew, who acted for Hendry, said the activist was entitled to an acquittal, as the ingredients of the charge were not proved.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Farith Muhammad Faizal said that Hendry was present during a raid at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and she was the one who handed over a DVD of the film to the police.
In his submission, New, however, said there was no evidence to show that Hendry was the one who screened the film as there is also a possibility that the film was screened by others present.
He added that the two main witnesses also could not confirm if Hendry was inside the screening hall or not.
“Hendry should not be charged just simply because her name is in the application form to use the hall,” New said, adding that there was no proven direct conduct but only circumstantial evidence.
He said Hendry was a representative from Komas at the event and there is no clear evidence on who distributed the DVD and who controlled the laptop for the screening.
Hendry, the programme coordinator for a human rights group Pusat Komas, claimed trial in a magistrate’s court on Sept 19, last year to illegally screening “No Fire Zone”.
Under Section 6(1)(b) of Film Censorship Act, 2002, Hendry faces up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000, if convicted.
Hendry filed the application at the High Court registry to quash the charge on Nov 25, 2014.
On July 3, 2013, three Pusat Komas activists – Anna Har, Arul Prakkash and Hendry – were arrested in a raid by the Home Ministry, when they attempted to screen the controversial documentary.The film, “No Fire Zone”, directed by British national Callum Macrae, explores the alleged oppression by the Sri Lankan government of Tamils in the island nation.