Comedy club co-founder denies charges

KUALA LUMPUR: Crackhouse Comedy Club co-founder Rizal Van Geyzel has pleaded not guilty at a Sessions Court here to three counts of posting offensive content on his social media accounts.

Rizal, whose full name is Mohd Rizal Van Geyzel, claimed trial to the charges after they were read out by a court interpreter before Sessions Court judge Nor Hasniah Ab Razak yesterday.

The stand-up comedian merely answered “tidak” (no) when asked whether he was pleading guilty.

According to the charge sheets, Rizal was accused of uploading the content on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok on July 4, July 5 and July 6 respectively with an intention to annoy others.

The content was then viewed at the cyber and multimedia crimes investigation division of the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department at the Bukit Aman police headquarters on July 13.

Rizal was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act, an offence punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

He faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or up to one year imprisonment and can be fined RM1,000 for each day if the offence continues after conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Noor Haslinda Che Seman told the court that the prosecution was not offering bail as the offence touched on racial sensitivities.

However, the prosecution suggested RM30,000 bail if the court uses its discretion to grant bail to the accused.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh asked the court to allow a RM2,000 bail for each charge.

He said his client has dyslexia (a learning disability) and that Rizal’s father suffers from cancer.

Judge Nor Hasniah then granted RM12,000 bail for all charges and ordered Rizal to surrender his passport to the court.

It is learnt that Rizal paid the bail.

He is also barred from making any posts or comments on the case on social media.

The case has been fixed for mention on Aug 19.

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