Che’gu Bard was issued a gag order by the court, and he wants to appeal

Che’gu Bard was issued a gag order by the court, and he wants to appeal

JOHOR BAHRU: On Monday, the High Court here issued a gag order against Badrul Hisham Shaharin, also known as Che’gu Bard, a member of the Bersatu Information Committee, prohibiting him from making any statements or comments regarding the Forest City casino case in Iskandar Puteri, which he is facing. Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar granted the prosecution’s application to review the Sessions Court’s decision that previously rejected the gag order.

Abu Bakar’s decision was based on the finding that the Sessions Court judge had failed to consider the overall scenario involving the respondent. The respondent has already been charged with two separate offenses in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court related to sedition and defamation against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“The respondent has been granted bail for cases in both the Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru Sessions Courts. In this situation, the respondent is free to use social media to post about or comment on the case. The Sessions Court judge failed to consider the significant and real risk of the respondent repeating similar seditious posts against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if the gag order is not issued,” Abu Bakar stated.

The judge emphasized that the freedom of speech granted under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution is not absolute and is subject to legal restrictions. The respondent does not need to use social media to defend himself against the charges, as he will receive a fair trial as guaranteed under Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution. The respondent is also represented by an experienced and competent lawyer.

Based on these reasons, the High Court exercised its review power to overturn the Sessions Court’s decision to reject the gag order. “This court issues a gag order on the respondent, his agents, and any representatives from posting or commenting on social media regarding this case until the trial is concluded,” Abu Bakar announced.

After the trial concludes, Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or Che’gu Bard, 45, plans to appeal the Johor Bahru High Court’s decision to issue the gag order related to the Forest City casino case in Iskandar Puteri. His lawyer, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, stated that an appeal would be filed within 14 days, believing there is additional evidence to support the appeal.

“Today is the decision of the Johor Bahru High Court, and we acknowledge, understand, and respect the judge’s decision. However, there are various legal strategies that can be pursued, including appealing to the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya,” Rafique said during a press conference following Monday’s High Court decision.

Muhammad Rafique added that they would use the 14-day period to devise the best strategy for the appeal.

The Johor Bahru High Court set the decision on the gag order for Monday after hearing arguments from both the prosecution and defense on Thursday. The prosecution sought a review of the order preventing Badrul Hisham from making any statements related to the ongoing case, following the Sessions Court’s previous rejection of the application.

On April 30, Che’gu Bard was charged in the Sessions Court here for publishing an inciting post about the Forest City casino project on social media. He allegedly made the inciting post via his Facebook account under the name ‘Che GuBard’ at Mutiara Villa Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, at 6:30 PM on April 26.


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