KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysiakini’s chief executive officer J. Premesh Chandran (pic) has been charged at a Sessions Court here with allegedly making offensive remarks against the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali when airing videos of former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan on the KiniTV website.
Premesh, who is a director with video portal KiniTV Sdn Bhd, was accused of two counts of making and initiating communication with intention to annoy other people through a video entitled “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali not fit to be AG, he should quit immediately” on July 27 last year.
The second charge refers to the same offence involving a second video in Malay entitled “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali tidak layak jadi AG, wajar segera letak jawatan”.
The 48-year-old pleaded not guilty to both charges.
DPP Mohd Sophian Zakaria offered bail at RM10,000 for each count.
However, Premesh’s lawyer Fahri Azzat objected and said the accused was a known figure in Malaysia and did not pose a flight risk.
Sessions Court judge Zaman Mohd Noor fixed bail at RM2,000 for each count with no conditions or surety.
Case management has been fixed for June 15.
Later, Malaysiakini editor-in-chief and KiniTV director Steven Gan told reporters that Premesh had recently returned from London.
Fahri said they would be filing a constitutional challenge against the charges in two weeks.
On Nov 17 last year, the portal and Gan were charged with similar offences. Premesh, who was overseas then, was not served the papers.
The charge under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is for improper use of network facilities for communications that are deemed offensive, false or obscene, among others.