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Taib’s son’s case: ‘trial by media’ questions

Wed 2014-Sep-3 @ MYT 11:30:33 am

Fair reporting in continuing court cases, rapid filing of news copy, and trial commentaries outside the hearing, leading to a “trial by media” were all brought up at the Kuala Lumpur syariah high court yesterday.

Reporters were urged to be fair to both parties when reporting the divorce proceedings between Mahmud Abu Bekir, son of Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud, and Shahnz Abdul Majid, in which she is claiming RM100mil from Bekir.

Judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab spoke of his concern about the impact on public perception brought about by court reports of continuing cases, published quickly before any decision had been made, according to Malaysiakini.

“I am concerned that the story comes out before a decision is being made in the case, as if it is already true. Sometimes, when I look at the computer at 1pm, I find the report already out. It does not only come out here in Malaysia but is reported the world over. I would advise journalists covering the case to be fair in their reports,” he said.

He also noted that some reports on the trial had spelt his name wrongly.

The judge also advised lawyers to make quick rebuttals to claims contained in statements made to reporters outside of the court-room proceedings. This came about after lawyers for Shahnaz had referred to statements made by Abu Bekir outside the court in June.

Such statements had been reported in several news portals; some of what was revealed outside court had not been stated during the trial and amounted to being sub-judice, said lawyer Akbardin Abdul Kader Akbardin.

“We do not want a trial by media,” he said.

» FULL REPORT: Be fair in covering Bekir’s mutaah case, reporters told

2 Comments
  1. joetanoz permalink
    Wed 2014-Sep-3 @ MYT 15:09:05 pm 15:09

    Guilt by association is too strong a description . Perhaps the rich and famous do attract more attention than the ordinary man in the street.Who would be reporting on the divorce proceedings of a ,lets assume,the local teh tarik stall operator or perhaps an office executive.The common theme in any divorce,in my humble opinion,is usually one party feels aggrieved and demands a financial or asset settlement to meet their own needs outside of the soon to be ex marital union.
    News sells papers and magazines,sensational news sells even better and attract a larger readership.
    I daresay that online news portals are not that different ftom real longsheets.They also need readership to survove as a business.
    And reporters do need to do their jobs to justify their pay packets each month.
    Just how and where to draw the line to avoid a ” trail by media” is perhaps,also in my humble opinion,a very fine line which editors themselves have to decide.
    After all,the rich ,famous and powerful
    do attract more attention!Just my 2 bits worth.

  2. Shadaan permalink
    Fri 2014-Sep-5 @ MYT 03:09:50 am 03:09

    This corrupted politician and his corrupted son have swindled enough to be able to pay the amount requested. The rob nations and put petty helpless people into prisons and they also have Islam on their side to look good in spite of their crimes. People should just wake up and take a hard look at politicians, religious ideologies and their leaders . Look at the world they have led for centuries and continue to do so. In Malaysia these two failed ideologies are a single entity with absolute power.

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