Friday March 8, 2013
ZI Publications charged over Irshad Manji's book
By MAIZATUL NAZLINA
PETALING JAYA: The director of ZI Publications, which published the controversial Irshad Manji book deemed to be against Islamic law (hukum syarak) and banned in Malaysia, has been charged in a Lower Syariah Court.
Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid, 30, was charged with publishing, distributing and possessing the book in May last year.
He claimed trial to the three alternative charges after they were read to him before Syarie judge Saharuddin Selamat yesterday.
Mohd Ezra was charged with publishing Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta (Allah, Liberty and Love), the contents of which deal in issues which are against Islamic law.
He faces a second charge of distributing the book to Syarikat Silverfish Books Sdn Bhd and one Faisal Mustaffa.
For these two charges, he was accused under Section 16(1)(a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995, which carries a fine of not more than RM3,000 or jail not more than two years, or both, if convicted.
Mohd Ezra, who is also the shareholder of the publishing company, was also charged with possessing 180 copies of Irshad’s books and was accused under Section 16(1)(b) of the same Act which carries the same penalty upon conviction.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at ZI Publications in Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 here last May.
Selangor Syarie prosecution chief Abdul Shukor Abdul Hamid, who was assisted by Syarie prosecuting officer Shafezan Rusli, urged the court to set bail at RM2,000.
Syarie counsel Zulkifli Che Yong, who appeared for Mohd Ezra, said he had no objection on the bail suggested by Abdul Shukor and asked for a mention date to enable him to evaluate documents.
The court granted bail at RM1,000 and fixed May 9 for mention.
On June 19 last year, Borders bookshop store manager in The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, 36, was accused of distributing and selling the book.