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Malaysian blogger acquitted of lese majeste charge

Local court decides Malaysian blogger not guilty of insulting Johor royalty and discharges him but local organization urges authorities to follow strict Thailand's lese majeste law, report says.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor on

The Malaysian blogger, Khairul Nizam Abd Ghani, who was accused of insulting the Johor royalty two years ago has been acquitted after the prosecution failed to establish its case. One local organization called on authorities to follow Thailand's example of stricter enforcement of its lese majeste law, though.

National news agency Bernama reported on Thursday that the blogger, also known by his online moniker as Aduka Taruna, was acquitted and discharged because the prosecution failed to prove its case.

He was accused of uploading seditious remarks against the Johor royalty on his blog on Jan. 22, 2010, and was facing up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit (US$15,735), it noted.

In a separate report by Bernama, one local organization urged authorities to follow Thailand's strict lese majeste laws. Datuk Syed Hussien Al-Habshee, vice president of Persatuan Anak-Anak Johor Wilayah Persekutuan dan Selangor, said: "The authorities need to be stern with parties or individuals who issued mocking and derivational statements about our royal institution."

A Web master in Thailand was recently convicted and handed an eight months suspended jail sentence for not removing site content that insulted the monarchy.

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