Federal Court to hear Mkini Dotcom's review against contempt decision on Oct 12

Federal Court to hear Mkini Dotcom's review against contempt decision on Oct 12
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PUTRAJAYA (July 23): The Federal Court has fixed Oct 12 to hear Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd's application to review the court's decision which found the company that operates news portal Malaysiakini guilty of contempt of court over five readers' comments.

Lawyer A Surendra Ananth, when contacted, confirmed the hearing date following case management today.

He said the review hearing will be conducted online.

Mkini Dotcom, in its review application, is seeking to set aside the Federal Court's decision which found the company guilty of contempt of court and wants the Federal Court to rehear the contempt application.

On Feb 19 this year, the Federal Court's seven-member bench led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf, in a six-one majority decision, found Mkini Dotcom guilty of contempt of court for facilitating the publication of five readers' comments and fined the company RM500,000.

Mkini Dotcom has paid the fine. 

The court, however, found Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan not guilty of contempt of court.

In the majority decision, Justice Rohana said the comments, which were facilitated to be published by Mkini Dotcom, had besmirched the good name of the judiciary as a whole and subverted the course of administration of justice, undermined public confidence, as well as offended the dignity, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

On June 17 last year, the Federal Court allowed the Attorney-General's (AG) ex parte application to obtain leave to commence committal proceedings against Mkini Dotcom and Gan in relation to the readers' comments on an article published by Malaysiakini on June 9 entitled “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1" which were deemed offensive.

On July 2 the same year, Mkini Dotcom and Gan failed to set aside the leave obtained by the AG to commence committal proceedings against them.

The apex court judges who delivered the majority decision were Justice Rohana, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court Judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Federal Court Judge Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, who dissented, held that Mkini Dotcom and Gan were not liable for contempt.