Dane jailed a week, fined RM10,000 over fake news

KUALA LUMPUR: A Danish national who was the first person to be charged under the newly enacted Anti-Fake News Act pleaded guilty at the sessions court here today.

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, 46, was sentenced to a week's imprisonment from the date of arrest and RM10,000 fine in default a month jail.

He was not represented and was charged under the Anti-Fake News Act for publishing a fake post between 6am and 9am on April 21 at a condominium in Setapak in connection to the murder of a Palestinian national in Kuala Lumpur.

He had claimed that police had arrived late at the murder scene but the police denied this and said they had arrived at the scene in less than 10 minutes.

He was charged under Section 4 of the Anti-Fake News Act, where he could be fined a maximum of RM500,000 or six years jail.

Under an alternative charge, he was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act where he would have faced a lower fine of RM50,000 or three years jail for uploading a Youtube video.

But he had pleaded guilty to the charge under the Anti-Fake News act.

Salah was arrested on April 23, and should be free today but when Judge Zaman Mohd Noor read out the sentence, he told that he had no money to pay the RM10,000 fine and only had RM1,000 with him.

In his mitigation, he told the court he had a sickly mother, three wives and six children.

He said he had no knowledge of the laws in Malaysia and had only acted out of anger with no intention to hurt anyone.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Jazilah Mohd Yushaa asked for a deterrent sentence to be imposed on the accused.