Cartoonist Zunar pleaded not guilty to nine sedition charges at the Sessions Court here today, over his tweets on Opposition de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction on February 10.

Zunar, whose full name is Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque, 52 pleaded not guilty for tweeting seditious remarks on the Federal Court’s February 10 ruling which sentenced Anwar to a five-year prison for sodomising his ex-personal aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhary in 2008.

Judge Zainol Rashid Hussain allowed RM2,500 bail - for each charge - in one surety for all nine charges and fixed May 20 for mention.

The charges against Zunar were for allegedly making seditious remarks in a social website, Twitter@zunarkartunis, at the Classified Criminal Investigation Unit office, Bukit Aman, at 3 pm last Feb 10.

If convicted, Zunar who was represented by counsel Latheefa Koya, can be jailed up to 43 years under Section 4 (1)(C) of the Sedition Act, provides a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years' jail or both, for the first offence, and imprisonment for up to five years for the subsequent offence.

Opposition Pakatan Rakyat leaders bluntly condemned the government for the arrest citing it an infringement on civil liberties and free expression.