Insulting Islam case: Alister deemed mentally fit for trial

Alister being escorted by a prison officer,

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By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, June 17: A man who was earlier sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and fined RM50,000 for uploading offensive materials on Islam on social media has been certified fit to plea and stand for trial.

Respondant DPP Musli Abdul Hamid tendered appellant Alister Cogia’s mental assessment report by Kota Sentosa Mental Hospital at the High Court here today. The latter had been sent to the Hospital for observation for a total of three months.


The report stated that the appellant, 22, from Singai, Bau is fit to plea and stand trial. It also stated that during the index offense, he was of sound mind as he was aware of his actions and was not intxicated.

“Up til the report was made, he maintained (being) mentally stable in the ward. He is not psychotic and neither disturbing nor demanding. His cognitive function is adequate and will be able to understand command,” said Musli.

Subsequently, the appellant’s counsels Francis Teron, See Chee How, Desmond Kho, Jeffery Mok and Chai Pei Chen said they would like to maintain the plea that Alister does not understand the charge framed when he pleaded guilty on March 8 for allegedly uploading offending remarks about Islam and Prophet Muhammad on social media.

High Court Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli fixed July 21 for his counsels to file in their written submission.

Alister was sentenced to imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of RM50,000 on March 8 by Session Court Judge Jason Juga. On March 13, he made his appeal application through his counsels Francis Teron, See Chee How, Desmond Kho, Jeffery Mok and Chai Pei Chen.

The appellant was charged with ten charges. Five charges were made under Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code while the remaining five charges were made under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Judge Jason sentenced the accused to a imprisonment of two years for each charge under Section 298A(1)(a), and sentenced the accused to a fine of RM10,000 or in default to two months’ imprisonment for each charge under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

The imprisonment terms are to run consecutively.

Alister was charged for commenting on Facebook with sentences that could cause disharmony among the people and discomfort to the people of the country on social media with the account name of “Ayea” on February 9, at about 7.11pm; February 10, at about 12.56am; February 14, at about 1.28am; February 24, at about 10pm and on February 24, at about 10.05pm.

He was arrested at an unumbered house located in Singai Bau, on March 3, 2019, at about 12.15am.

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 a imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years.

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 a imprisonment of not more than one year or both and a fine of RM1,000 every day in which the offence is continue after completion. — DayakDaily