Popular Malaysian blogger charged with sedition


Kuala Lumpur : A Malaysian blogger was charged Tuesday with sedition over an article he wrote linking a top government leader and his wife to the gruesome killing of a Mongolian woman.

Support TwoCircles

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of the popular Malaysia Today site, had posted an article which allegedly implicated Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, in the October 2006 murder.

The 57-year-old Raja Petra pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to him over the article, which prosecutors say contained “sentences deemed seditious.”

“We bloggers have declared war on the government. Our final objective is to change the government,” Raja Petra declared before he was charged.

Supporters, including opposition lawmakers and other bloggers, thronged the court in a show of support.

Represented by seven lawyers, a defiant Raja Petra declined to post the 5,000 ringgit bail (1,600 dollars) set by judge Nurmala Salim, preferring to be jailed until his October 6 trial date.

“I am not going to post bail. I don’t have the money,” Raja Petra was quoted by AFP as telling reporters in the courtroom.

“I’ll be out for Christmas. Don’t worry,” he added, after hugging his tearful wife and close friends.

If convicted, he faces a three-year jail term or a fine of up to 5,000 ringgit.

The high-profile killing of the 28-year-old Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu — whose body was blown up with explosives — has been splashed across newspapers covering the murder trial, which began last June.