FB user who got 10 years behind bars for insulting Islam to undergo mental check-up for another month

The appellant being escorted by a prison officer.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, April 16: Alister Cogia, 22, who caught national attention when his Facebook post deemed insulting to Islam landed him 10 years behind bars and a RM50,000 fine, will remain in Kota Sentosa Mental Hospital for the second round of observation.

This is because the doctor attending to him needed another month to observe him.

High Court Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli today extend his observation in Kota Sentosa Mental Hospital for another month and fixed May 16 for further mention to tender his mental report.

Alister, who operated the Facebook account name of ‘Ayea’, pleaded guilty on March 8 for allegedly uploading onto the social media platform offending remarks about Islam and Prophet Mohamad.

He was then jailed and fined on March 8 by Session Court Judge Jason Juga.

But on March 13, he made his appeal application through his counsels Francis Teron, See Chee How, Desmond Kho, Jeffery Mok and Chai Pei Chen.

Azhahari then ordered him to be sent to Kota Sentosa Mental Hospital for observation for a month and fixed April 16 to tender his mental report.

Alister, from Singgai Bau, was slapped with 10 charges, of which five were under Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 298A(1) of the same Code.

Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code relates to causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity on grounds of religion. This section carries imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years.

The remaining five charges were framed under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 relates to improper use of network facilities or network services. This section carries a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year or both and a fine of RM1,000 every day in which the offence is continued after conviction.

Jason sentenced him to two years’ jail for each charge under Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code and fined him RM10,000 in default two months imprisonment for each charge under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

The imprisonment terms are to run consecutively.

His controversial postings on the social media platform under the account name of `Ayea’ were allegedly made on Feb 9 at about 7.11pm, Feb 10 at about 12.56am, Feb 14 at about 1.28am, Feb 24 at about 10pm, and on Feb 24 at about 10.05pm.

He was arrested at an unnumbered house in Singgai, Bau, on March 3 at about 12.15am. — DayakDaily