Apex court finds Malaysiakini guilty of contempt but spares editor

A seven-member bench says the news portal is fully responsible for its website, including whatever is published.

(MalaysiaNow) – The Federal Court today found news portal Malaysiakini guilty of contempt over comments posted by readers seen as offensive to the judiciary.

However, a seven-member bench led by Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf found the second respondent, editor-in-chief Steven Gan, not guilty of the same offence.

In a 6-1 majority decision, the bench said Malaysiakini should have been aware of the comments posted.

Rohana was joined by judges Azahar Mohamed, Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Abdul Rahman Sebli and Nallini Pathmanathan, who dissented.

Contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini’s operator, Mkini Dot Com Sdn Bhd, and its editor-in-chief began in June last year.

The attorney-general had said that five comments posted by readers on a June 7 report titled “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1” contained words offensive towards the judiciary in general and the chief justice in particular.

The attorney-general also claimed that the comments undermined public confidence in the judiciary and were an insult to its integrity.

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