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Malaysian charged with Facebook insult of sultan

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 12:45 am •  Published: November 9, 2012
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The posts in question were directed at Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar of southern Johor state. Fadiah said that according to the charge sheet, the postings likened the sultan's skin and behavior to that of a pig, which is viewed as a dirty animal in Islam.

"The charges are unfounded. Ahmad is vocal and is critical about political matter but he didn't write the postings. It seems that Ahmad is being prosecuted for exercising his rights," Fadiah said. Ahmad faces up to a year in jail if convicted, she added.

Nine Malaysian states have sultans and other royal figures. Though their roles are largely ceremonial, they command wide respect after centuries of hereditary rule.

Under Malaysian law, acts that provoke hatred against royal rulers are considered seditious. Only a few people have been charged with the crime in recent years.