Monday, October 6, 2008

Expert witness testifies at Raja Petra's trial - NST

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon: Oct 6, 2008

The trial of blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, charged with publishing a seditious article in his blog, began at the Sessions Court here today, with an expert witness called to testify.

Harme Mohamed, who is deputy director of international affairs department-cum-director of security, trust and governance department, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), was the first to be called.

In his testimony today, Harme, 39, told the court that it was Raja Petra who posted the article, “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell”, which was published in on April 25, this year.

The witness said he made the conclusion based on the MCMC’s Computer Forensic Investigation Report which stated that Raja Petra’s name was written in the article as the author, and the domain name was

Harme was testifying during an examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Roslan Mat Nor.

To a question by Roslan on whether he knew the website’s domain name administrator, Harme replied: “Based on the document, I do not know”. Raja Petra, 58, is alleged to have committed the offence at his residence, No: 5, Jalan BRP 5/5, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.

The article entitled “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell” was published in on April 25.

The charge under Section 4(1)© of the Sedition Act 1948 carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or up to three years’ jail, or both upon conviction.

Raja Petra, who wore a blue short-sleeved shirt, a pair of blue jeans and blue slippers, looked calm throughout the proceeding.

Meanwhile, during cross-examination by lawyer J. Chandra who represented Raja Petra, Harme said he had no other evidence to prove that it was indeed, Raja Petra who posted the article besides what was stated in the report.

He agreed that the report did not state any particulars concerning the date when the alleged seditious article were posted although it was mentioned in the said article.

Harme also agreed with a suggestion by Chandra that posting of that nature (through the website) could have been done by anyone having access to the username and password of the owner of the website.

Chandra: Since this is a popular website and can be viewed 24 hours (a day) and seven days a week, do you agree that the author or the owner is not there physically all the time to monitor it?

Harme: Yes.

Chandra: Are you aware that Raja Petra has been under remand since Sept 12?

Harme: Yes.

Chandra: Are you aware that since Sept 12, there have been several other postings on the website?

Harme: I have read one but cannot recall whether it was posted by Raja Petra.

Chandra: Who did the postings?

Harme: Maybe somebody else.

Roslan also informed the court that the prosecution had six or seven more witnesses to testify, adding that tomorrow, it would call two public witnesses to give their testimonies.

Hearing before Judge Rozina Ayob continues tomorrow.

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