JOURNALIST Wan Noorhayati Wan Alias, charged last month with rumour-mongering, is seeking to get the three charges against her dropped as the number of Covid-19 victims in the country continues to climb.
Her counsel Jahaberdeen Yunoos told the Magistrate Court in Jalan Duta he would be writing to the Attorney-General-Chambers (AGC) as soon as he has obtained the formal charge sheet against Noorhayati, also known as ‘Ibu Yati’ and other relevant documents related to the case.
Magistrate Tawfiq Affandy Chin has set April 27 to hear Jahaberdeen’s representation for Noorhayati.
Jahaberdeen was engaged to represent Noorhayati, 41, by the National Press Club of Malaysia. Its president Datuk Ahirudin Attan was present at the Wednesday morning hearing.
Noorhayati was charged at the Magistrate Criminal Court on Feb 5 for posting on her Facebook account concerning the Covid-19 epidemic on Jan 26, materials that she allegedly knew could result in public anxiety and panic. She had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The charges were made under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum jail term of two years or with fine or both, if found guilty.
The case had brought to question the then Pakatan Harapan government’s practices regarding media freedom. The PH government collapsed early this month after its Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned unexpectedly.
The number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia was 129 as of yesterday. Neighbouring Indonesia today recorded its first death caused by the coronavirus.