KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysiakini CEO and co-founder J. Premesh Chandran has pleaded not guilty at a Sessions Court here over two charges relating to the airing of allegedly offensive remarks against Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali on the KiniTV website.
Premesh was accused of knowingly making and initiating a communication that was offensive in nature with intention to annoy others through a video entitled “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali not fit to be AG, he should quit immediately” on July 27 last year.
The second charge refers to the same offence involving another video in Malay entitled “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali tidak layak jadi AG, wajar segera letak jawatan”.
The videos were seen at the Attorney-General's Chambers in Putrajaya on Aug 2 last year.
Both charges were for an offence under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities for communications that are deemed offensive, false or obscene, among others.
DPP Mohd Sophian Zakaria offered bail at RM10,000 for each count on Monday.
However, lawyer Fahri Azzat who represented Premesh objected and said the accused was a known figure in Malaysia and did not pose a flight risk.
“This case is a matter of honour and reputation for him. He will not avoid his responsibilities relating to the company,” Fahri said.
Sessions Court judge Zaman Mohd Noor fixed bail at RM2,000 for each count with no condition or surety.
The case is fixed for case management on June 15.
Later, Malaysiakini co-founder Steven Gan told reporters that Premesh had recently returned from London.
Fahri said they will be filing a constitutional challenge on the matter in two weeks.
“We will give you the information when the time comes,” he said.
On Nov 17 last year, the portal and Gan were charged with similar offences. However, Premesh was overseas and was not served the papers then.
* The story has been amended to correctly reflect the charges.