Comedy club case: Crackhouse owner fined RM8,000 for posting offensive communication on FB

KUALA LUMPUR: Crackhouse comedy club owner Mohamad Rizal Van Geyzel was fined RM8,000 by the Sessions Court here on Friday (July 7) for making and initiating the transmission of offensive communications that touched on racial sensitivity through the Facebook application last year.

Judge N.Priscilla Hemamalini meted out the fine after Mohamad Rizal pleaded guilty to the first of the three charges made against him.

This was after deputy public prosecutor Nurul'Ain Abu Bakar informed the court that the Attorney General's Chambers Office (AGC) had received the third representation filed by Mohamad Rizal on June 7.

"The prosecution agreed to accept the representation for the person being sued - OKS (Mohamad Rizal) to plead guilty to the first charge made against him.

"However, the two other charges facing Mohmad Rizal are considered ‘take into consideration (TIC) under Section 171A of the Criminal Procedure Code," said Nurul'Ain.

Mohamad Rizal paid the fine.

On the first charge, Mohamad Rizal, 40 was charged with making and initiating the transmission of offensive communications with intent to offend others via the Facebook application using the profile name ‘Rizal van Geyzel’ on July 4, 2022.

The posting was read at the Cyber Crime and Multimedia Investigation Division Office,Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Menara KPJ here at 1.17pm on July 13 last year.

The charge, framed under Section 233(1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and punishable under Section 233 (3) of the same act, provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, and shall be further fined RM1,000 for every day that the offence is repeated after conviction if convicted.

For the two other charges, he was alleged to have made and initiated the transmission of offensive communications with intent to offend others via the Instagram ‘rizalvangeyzel’ and TikTok ‘rizalvangeyzel’ on July 5 and 6, 2022, respectively and the postings were read at the same place, time and date.

Earlier, another deputy public prosecutor handling the case, Noor Haslinda Che Seman, requested the court to impose a hefty fine considering that the offence committed by the OKS was serious enough that it caused public anger.

"The guilty plea by the OKS doesn't give an automatic right to a lower sentence because the sentence to be handed down by this court will serve as a lesson not only to OKS but also to the general public so that they do not commit a similar offence," she said.

Lawyer M. Pravin, representing Mohamad Rizal, in his mitigation, said his client has three children, including a child with disabilities, to support.

"The OKS has a 74-year-old father suffering from chronic heart disease and has to bear the cost of his (father) treatment. Following this incident, OKS has lost its main source of income as a 'stand-up comedy'.

"He is now divorced from his wife and takes care of three children, aged between three and 11 years. OKS regretted his action and promised to not repeat the same mistakes,” said the lawyer. - Bernama

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