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Blogger ordered to remove articles from website, reveal sources

(SEAPA/IFEX) - A Malaysian High Court has given popular blogger and website editor Raja Petra Kamarudin until 15 August 2008 to reveal the sources for three articles in his blog, "Malaysia Today". The court has deemed the articles to be defamatory to a prominent lawyer.

The court also ordered Kamarudin to reveal the identities of visitors to his blog who left comments about the articles. Malaysian media reports said he was also ordered to remove the articles from his blog.

Lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah filed defamation charges against the blogger over articles he posted to his website on 6, 7 and 11 August. The articles linked the lawyer to the ruling Malaysian political party UMNO, and accused him of being behind the recent sodomy charge filed against opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datu Serik Anwar Ibrahim.

According to "The Star," Justice Tee Ah Sing's order, granted in chambers, included directing Kamarudin to remove the offending articles, as well as any follow-up stories and related comments by visitors. The blogger and his agents were also ordered to refrain from publishing the articles or any other defamatory material against Shafee on any other website.

Shafee told "The Star" that Raja Petra Kamarudin had "continuously and maliciously (been) on a rampage to defame him."

"I have not seen anything more defamatory than what this man has written. None of what he said is true," he added.

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