A popular Malaysian blogger is on trial on sedition charges for allegedly implying the deputy prime minister was involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin denies wrongdoing. He appeared in court on the first day of his trial in Kuala Lumpur Monday.

The sedition charges stem from an article Raja Petra published in April on his anti-government news Web site "Malaysia Today."

The article titled "Let's Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell" allegedly links Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, to the 2006 killing of 26-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu of Mongolia.

Najib denies he was involved in the crime. His close associate is charged with abetting the murder, and two policemen are accused of killing the woman.

Raja Petra is already in jail on a separate case under the Internal Security Act, an anti-terrorism law that allows indefinite detention without trial.

If convicted, Raja Petra faces up to three years in jail.

Malaysia's opposition and international human rights advocates have condemned the Malaysian government's use of the Internal Security Act. They say the government is using the law as a repressive measure to control dissent.

Malaysian blogs are considered an alternative source of information from the mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.