Court reverses Hendry’s acquittal order

Source: The Star Online

Pic taken from FMT News
Lena Hendry (centre), after Magistrate Mohd Rehab Mohd Aris, had ruled to acquit her last March. Pic taken from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set aside an acquittal order for activist Lena Hendry and ordered her to enter her defence over the charge of screening a documentary that had not been approved by the Censorship Board.

In reversing the acquittal order Wednesday, Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah found that there was a prima facie case against Hendry.

He ordered Hendry to enter her defence before the magistrate’s court where she had been charged.

Hendry’s lawyer Edmund Bon said they will fight the case till the end and believe they have a strong defence.

“It is a documentary talk about human rights violation in another country,” he told reporters later.

He said the DPP would write to the magistrate’s court to get a case management date.

“We will deal on the issue of her bail in the magistrate’s court,” he added.

Previously, Hendry’s bail was set at RM1,000 but it was returned to her after her acquittal in March.

Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris had held that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against Hendry.

A total of eight prosecution witnesses were called to give evidence in the five-day trial.

Hendry, the programme coordinator for human rights group Pusat Komas, claimed trial in a magistrate’s court on Sept 19, 2013 to illegally screening the uncensored film “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”.

The film, directed by British national Callum Macrae, explores the alleged oppression of Tamils by the Sri Lankan government in the island nation.

Hendry is said to have committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela here at 9pm on July 3, 2013.

The charge under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to RM30,000 or both upon conviction.


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