Malaysia's top court hears contempt bid against news portal
Malaysia's top court on Monday heard a rare contempt charge by the attorney general against a popular online news portal for publishing readers' comments that criticized the judiciary, a move slammed by media groups as a clampdown on press freedom.
Attorney General Idrus Harun, who was appointed by a new government that took power in March, filed contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief, Steven Gan, over comments made by five readers on its portal last month that allegedly tarnished the judiciary.
The Federal Court said it would deliver its verdict at a later date after hearing arguments from both sides. Prosecutors have said the portal should be held responsible for publishing the comments.
Lawyers for Malaysiakini rebutted that there was no intent of mischief, as the portal was unaware of the comments and had immediately removed them after it was notified by police.