Sodomy II: Bloggers told to be ethical in reporting

(Bernama) – Bloggers should be responsible and ethical in reporting the sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to avoid sub judice, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

He said bloggers had a responsibility to society and should abide by the country’s law.

“I believe bloggers have their own sense of responsibility to society and will not go around writing with wild abandon, because in the end the law will catch up with them; and like it or not, the law will come down hard on them.

“So before that happens, they should exercise caution,” he told reporters after launching a book titled Melakar Jejak — Biografi Mohd Yusof Noor here Friday.

Rais said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was constantly monitoring reports published in certain blogs to see if they were made in general or had elements of contempt of court or were against the rule of sub judice.

The defence lawyers in the trial have twice tried to get the trial judge to cite Utusan Malaysia for contempt. A police report has also been lodged accusing the mainstream Malay daily of misleading or false reporting.

Meanwhile, Rais said the ministry would not stop Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) from reporting on the case.

RTM would also be allowed to use certain terms which were mentioned in court, he added.

“We can report on the case based on what transpired in court and in the interest of public knowledge but we should not make comments which are sub judice,” he said.

Anwar, the PKR adviser and Permatang Pauh MP, is charged with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Unit 11-5-1 Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on Jan 26, 2008.

The trial started at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday.