Crackhouse co-founder claims trial to three counts of posting offensive content

KUALA LUMPUR: Crackhouse Comedy Club co-founder Rizal Van Geyzel has pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to three counts of posting offensive content on his social media accounts.

Rizal, or his full name Mohd Rizal Van Geyzel, claimed trial to the charges after they were read out by the court interpreter here before Sessions Court judge Nor Hasniah Ab Razak on Friday (July 22).

The stand-up comedian, who wore a white shirt and blue slacks, only answered “tidak” (no) when asked whether he was pleading guilty or not to the charges.

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According to the charge sheets, Rizal was accused of uploading the content on his Facebook, Instagram and TikTok on July 4, July 5 and July 6 respectively with intention to annoy others.

The content was then viewed at the cyber and multimedia crimes investigation division of the commercial crimes investigation department at the Bukit Aman police headquarters on July 13.

Rizal was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, an offence punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

He faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or up to one year imprisonment and can be fined RM1,000 each if the offence continues after conviction.

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Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Haslinda Che Seman told the court that the prosecution was not offering bail as the offence touched on racial sensitivity.

However, the prosecution suggested RM30,000 bail if the court uses its discretion to grant bail to the accused.

Meanwhile, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh asked the court to allow a RM2,000 bail for each charge.

He said his client has dyslexia (a type of learning disability) and that Rizal’s father suffers from cancer.

Judge Nor Hasniah then granted a RM12,000 bail for all charges and ordered for Rizal to surrender his passport to the court.

Rizal is also barred from making any posts or comments on the case on his social media.

The case has been fixed for mention on Aug 19.

It is understood that Rizal paid the bail.