Former Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam was charged in the Sessions Court here today with spreading Covid-19 fake news through audiovisual recordings in April and May this year.
Lokman, 48, however, pleaded not guilty after the two charges were read out to him before Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy.
According to the first and second charges, Lokman was accused of spreading fake news through audiovisual recordings about the spread of the Covid-19 virus due to the entry of Indian nationals into Malaysia and using the Facebook page of “Lokman Adam” to post false news on the death of a police officer due to the vaccine, with the intention of causing concern to the public at 10.55pm on May 3 and 10.38pm on April 9.
The two recordings were later viewed at the Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Division Office, Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Bukit Aman Police Headquarters, 27th Floor, Menara KPJ, at 4.40pm, May 9 and 8.55pm, April 11.
The charges were framed under Section 4 (1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No.2) Ordinance 2021 which provide for a maximum fine of RM100,000 or imprisonment of up to three years or both, if convicted.
Earlier, Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory prosecution director Datin Kalmizah Salleh offered bail of RM30,000 for each charge with one surety with the additional condition that the accused surrendered his passport to the court.
“The prosecution urges that the accused’s passport be surrendered as the Klang Valley area will enter Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan and possibly the national borders will be opened soon,” she said.
Counsel representing Lokman, Logen Eskander appealed to the court for lower bail and not to hold his client’s passport as the country’s borders are still closed
“My client is unemployed and is helping his wife with her satay business to support their 11 children,” said Logen.
The court allowed Lokman bail of RM10,000 with one surety for each charge and set Nov 25 for re-mention of the case.
“I was quite disturbed when I heard the charges were related to the video where I appealed for the Muhyiddin Yassin government to compensate the family of ACP Shariman Saidin,” he said.
Lokman had claimed that Shariman, the police’s Special Branch Pahang chief, died after being given the Covid-19 vaccine.
However, the police reportedly denied that the 56-year-old police officer’s death was linked to the vaccination.
“For the second offence, I was charged for questioning the Muhyiddin government after it promised that visitors from India, a country facing a new variant at the time, were barred from entering this country,” Lokman said.
He had claimed there were still planes from India landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and that arrivals from India were reportedly being held at the airport after testing positive for Covid-19.
These charges come a day after he was reaccepted into Umno.
Lokman said the charges he faced were selective charges similar to those faced by Umno leaders under former prime minister Muhyiddin’s administration.
“It is time for (Prime Minister) Ismail Sabri Yaakob to consider stripping the position of (Attorney-General) Idrus Harun…who used their position to abuse Umno members.
“Whatever actions may come, they will not dampen my spirit to fight for the people,” he said.