Insulting Islam case: Alisters jail term reduced from 10 to six years
0 month ago, 13-Sep-2019
Alister is led out of court after the proceedings.
KUCHING: The High Court here reduced the jail penalty of Alister Cogia, who was convicted of insulting Islam and its prophet, from 10 to six years.
When reviewing the High Court earlier judgement, Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli today reduced the jail term after taking into account the timing and frequencies of the offence.
He reasoned that several of the jail terms on Alister, 22, should have run concurrently instead of consecutively because some offences were committed at different times on each day of the crime.
Azhahari insisted that despite the review, the crime was still serious because it could contribute to undermining racial harmony in Sarawak.
“All religions must be respected, and respect towards each other’s religion is the very element that binds this multiracial nation,” he said while reminding people that reviewing the penalty of the case did not mean that the court is taking the crime lightly or permitting it.
The High Court however, maintained that Alister was sane when he committed the offences and when he pleaded guilty to them.
Alister was earlier sentenced to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment and also fined RM50,000 for committing 10 offences via his Facebook account named Ayea Yea in March this year.
Five of the offences were framed under Section 298A (1) (a) of the Penal Code and another five, Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
The case was reviewed after his lawyers insisted that he was mentally unfit.
This prompted the High Court to order Alister to undergo three months’ mental observation at Hospital Sentosa here.
On June 17, the High Court declared that he was mentally stable following the result of a psychiatry report.
DPP Musli Abdul Hamid prosecuted in the case.