Malaysian cartoonist Zunar rearrested after posting bail, then freed again

Malaysian cartoonist Zunar rearrested after posting bail, then freed again

KUALA LUMPUR - It was a long day for cartoonist Zunar after he was charged in a Sessions Court here with sedition, released after posting bail, rearrested and released again on police bail after his statement was recorded over another alleged offence.

Zunar, whose full name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, was rearrested at the Duta Court Complex shortly after he paid his RM22,500 (S$8,400) bail for the charges.

Earlier, he had claimed trial to nine sedition charges over his tweets on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy 2 conviction.

The tweets were posted on Feb 10, the day the Federal Court upheld Anwar's conviction for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari.

His postings contained commentary of the proceedings on that day, besides mentioning the Chief Justice and Palace of Justice.

Judge Zanol Radhid Hussain set May 20 for next mention.

Lawyers for Liberty member Michelle Yesudass, who accompanied Zunar, 53, to the police station, said the cartoonist was questioned over a picture posted on a Facebook fan page, The Zunar Kartunis Fan Club, which depicted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's face photoshopped onto someone in a purple prison jumpsuit.

She said Zunar was being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of a network service.

He was held for about four hours and released at 5pm, she said.

In Sepang, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar justified the nine charges brought against Zunar, saying that he had "asked for it".

He "should know by now" to be careful when making comments on the Internet that might stir anger or jeopardise public peace, Khalid told reporters after receiving a contribution of two 44-seater buses from AirAsia for the Sepang police headquarters.

"Zunar was rearrested because he abused the Internet, which is an offence under the Communications and Multimedia Act," Khalid said.

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