Sunday, September 22

Insulting Islam case: Alister found to be mentally fit to stand trial

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Alister (right) at the Kuching Courthouse today,

KUCHING: The High Court here today ruled that 22-year-old Alister Cogia’s mental health was normal, and he did not suffer from any mental issues.

According to a report by the Sentosa Hospital here, Alister’s mental state was found to be in stable condition throughout the three months observation period in the hospital.

Thus far, Alister had only been diagnosed with a sub-clinical thyroid.

He was found to be well aware of the environment, and did not face any psychosis issue.

Alister was also reported to have a satisfying cognitive ability and able to respond well without any problem.

He was also found to be mentally fit and was not under any influence when committing the offence.

Hence, the report as a whole showed that Alister was fit to stand trial in court as he was able to understand the charges pressed against him.

However, psychiatrists recommended that Alister undergo a psychotherapy sessions for anger management and to improve his social adjustment function.

Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli then ordered Alister be remanded.

The court also set Aug 2 as the date to re=mention the case.

However, one of Alister’s counsel, Francis Teron Kadap still maintained that his client did not understand the charges pressed against him.

Deputy public prosecutor Musli Abdul Hamid prosecuted the case while the accused was represented by counsels Francis Teron, Desmond Kho and Jeffery Mok.

Alister was initially sentenced to a 10-year jail and a fine of RM50,000 on the charge of insulting Prophet Muhammad through his Facebook account ‘Ayea Yea’.

The court’s decision attracted criticism from various parties with some seeking a re-examination of the case because Alister was said to be suffering from mental illness.

Hence, the High Court decided to send him to the Sentosa Hospital here for a three-month observation.