Court affirms decision to drop charge against sex bloggers

Out of town: Tan is believed to be in the United States.

PUTRAJAYA - The charge against former sex bloggers Alvivi in relation to their Ramadan Facebook post has been dropped.

Justice Abdull Hamid Embong allowed the defence's preliminary objection that the Federal Court had no jurisdiction to hear a case that originated from the Sessions Court.

"We agree that the Federal Court has no jurisdiction in a matter that started in the lower courts," ruled Justice Abdull Hamid.

Alvin Tan Jye Yee, 27, and Vivian Lee May Ling, 26, are on trial in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court over three charges of publishing a religiously insensitive photograph, making seditious statements and for displaying pornographic images on their blog.

The five-person Bench, which included Justices Ahmad Maarop, Hasan Lah, Zainun Ali and Ramly Ali, unanimously struck out the prosecution's appeal against the dropping of the charge against the couple of stirring hostility between religious faiths.

On April 21 last year, the Court of Appeal struck out the charge under the Penal Code on the grounds that the law does not apply to non-Muslims.

The panel agreed with the defence that Section 298 of the Penal Code was meant to ensure smoothness of the practice of Islam among its followers, not those of other faiths.

The case in the Sessions Court is fixed for case management on March 6, despite the fact that Tan had jumped bail.

Tan and Lee claimed trial on July 18, 2013 to three charges under the Film Censorship Act, the Sedition Act and the Penal Code, of which the first two still stand.