Defamation: Court acquits, discharges The Edge’s former editor-in-chief

PETALING JAYA: A former editor-in-chief of The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd was acquitted and discharged on one of two counts of defaming a Datuk and four companies, in two articles published by The Edge Malaysia weekly.

Magistrate Zhafran Rahim Hamzah acquitted and discharged Ahmad Azam Mohd Aris, 61, after deputy public prosecutor Siti Maryam Jamilah Md Kamal informed the court that the prosecution had received instructions from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to withdraw the case.

Siti Maryam Jamilah said that the prosecution had also received a letter of representation, submitted by Ahmad Azam, dated Sept 28.

“Therefore, I request that the accused be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for this charge,” she said during the mention of the case Tuesday (Nov 22).

Lawyer Rajsurian Pillai, who represented Ahmad Azam, appealed for his client to be released and acquitted of the charge because no reason was given as to why the case was withdrawn, and if the case was a DNAA, the charge would hang on the accused indefinitely.

Ahmad Azam was charged with defaming Datuk Kua Khai Shyuan, 38, and DGB Asia Berhad, through the publication of an article in The Edge Malaysia Issue 1337, for the Sept 21 to 27, 2020 period, which will damage the reputation of Kua and the company.

Meanwhile, before Magistrate Shahril Anuar Ahmad Mustapa, Ahmad Azam was given a DNAA on another charge of defaming Kua and the companies – DGB Asia, Trive Property Group Berhad, Metronic Global Berhad, and MNC Wireless Berhad, through an article published in The Edge Malaysia Issue 1365, for the April 12 to 18, 2021 period.

The two offences were allegedly committed at The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd, Level 3, Menara KLK, Mutiara Damansara, on Sept 21, 2020, and April 12, 2021.

Both charges were framed under Section 500 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Code, which provides for a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.

Earlier, DPP Farhanah Fuad Mohamad Faiz said that the prosecution also received instructions from the AGC to withdraw the case and asked for the accused to be given a DNAA for the second charge.

Rajsurian, who was assisted by lawyer Allyna Ng, representing the accused, appealed for their client to be acquitted and discharged on the same grounds. – Bernama