A famous Malaysian preacher will be tried in court for sexual harassment

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Famous preacher and entrepreneur Ebit Lew will face trial on 11 counts of sexual harassment at the Tenom Magistrate’s Court in Sabah next month.

Deputy Commissioner A. Skandaguru, director of corporate communications for the police, confirmed the case in a statement.

“Ebit Lew, who was charged in Tenom Magistrate’s Court in February with 11 counts of sexual harassment under Section 509 of the Penal Code, will be tried between September 27 and September 30 by the same court,” he said.

The 38-year-old could face up to five years in prison or a fine or both on each count if convicted.

Ebit was charged in court on February 18 with 11 counts of sexual harassment.

Lew was represented by attorney Mohamed Zairi Zainal Abidin, while the prosecution was led by Sabah State Director of Prosecutions Muhammad Ilmami Ahmad, with support from Deputy Attorney General Azreen Yas Mohamad Ramli.

He was released after posting bail of RM1,000 (US$223) with two bails for each offence.

Ebit is accused of using the WhatsApp application to convey vulgar images and remarks with the intention of offending someone’s dignity, according to Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department Director Abdul Jalil Hassan.

Police opened an investigation into Ebit in July last year after receiving complaints that the preacher had sexually harassed several people. Evidence of this was leaked on a Telegram channel last year.

As a result of the report, authorities initiated an investigation under sections 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, section 14 of the Petty Offenses Act 1955 and section 509 of the Penal Code.

To help with investigations, Ebit provided its statement in August and October last year.

He claimed the charges were a malicious slander of him.

Ebit has 5.7 million followers on his Instagram account which he updates regularly. No statement has yet been made by him recently.

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