Relentless posts force defence team to request for gag order

PETALING JAYA: In response to the relentless social media posts on the controversial murder case of six-year-old Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin, the defence team representing his parents sought a gag order against the public.

Lawyer Fahmi Abd Moin, who represented Zaim Ikhwan Zahari, made an oral application to Sessions Court judge Dr Syahliza Warnoh for a gag order, aimed at preventing the public from making posts that could be considered sub judice in the case.

Yesterday, Zaim and his wife Ismanira Abdul Manaf were jointly charged with child negligence under the Child Act 2011.

The six-year-old was found dead near a stream in Damansara Damai on Dec 6 last year.

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“Just before they were charged this morning, there were many rapid-fire posts on social media and this affected them severely.

“We seek a gag order on any party (who posts on the case),” Fahmi said during the proceedings after the couple was charged.

Deputy public prosecutor Ku Hayati Ku Haron said the prosecution would leave it to the judge’s discretion but also applied for the couple themselves to refrain from making posts on their social media accounts about the case.

ALSO READ: Cops exhaust all legal means and assets in murder probe

Fahmi agreed to the prosecution’s application and reiterated the defence’s request for a gag order on the public.

Ku Hayati argued that the defence’s application was “too general” and emphasised that while there are limitations, freedom of speech is a right enjoyed by everyone.

“If there is a violation (of the order on the public at large), what kind of remedy can be taken?

“When it comes to a gag order, we usually have a specific target group,” she said.

Instead of the public, Syahliza ordered a gag on the parties involved in the case from discussing it on social media.

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