Aussies dressed down for stripping down at Malaysia F1, but case dismissed
- Nasdaq hits record; bank earnings validate Wall St. rally
- Intrawest Resorts (SNOW) Exploring a Possible Sale - Reuters
- Alibaba (BABA) Has No Plans to Acquire Rest of Groupon (GRPN) - Source
- Time (TIME) Said to Soon Begin Discussions with Interested Buyers - Bloomberg
- JPMorgan (JPM) Reports Q4 EPS of $1.71
Jack Walker, one of the nine Australian men who were detained for stripping down to their underwear at last Sunday's Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix, leaves the Magistrate Court in Sepang, Malaysia October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 2-week free trial here.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian court on Thursday dismissed a case against nine Australians arrested for stripping down to their swim wear at last Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
Photos and videos of the men drinking beer from their shoes while wearing swimming trunks printed with the Malaysian flag prompted an outcry on social media and in the Malaysian press, with one official deeming it an "indecent act".
The men had initially pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offense, but judge Harith Sham Mohamed Yasin of the Sepang Sessions Court dismissed the charge with a stern warning.
Stripping down in public at an international event had "provoked the sensitivities of Malaysians" and the symbols of the Malaysian national flag represented not only its people but also Islam, Harith said.
"Let this serve as a reminder to all of you to learn about our local cultures and customs," he said. "What is perfectly acceptable in your country is not necessarily acceptable in other countries."
Defense counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had argued in mitigation that some of the nine were part-time beach lifesavers and that stripping down to their swimming trunks was "second nature" to them.
One of the men, Thomas Whitworth, 28, also read out a letter of apology on behalf of the group.
"We are remorseful of our actions on that day. We had no idea that our conduct would be deemed to be inappropriate, crass or even downright offensive to the citizens of this country," he said.
The group had been celebrating after Australian Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden Formula One win of the season, imitating the driver's famous "shoey" maneuver by drinking from their footwear.
Last year, four Western tourists were fined and deported from Malaysia after posing naked on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, angering locals who consider the mountain sacred.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Canada's Trudeau faces ethics probe over Bahamas trip: media
- Serbia wants to annex part of Kosovo using 'Crimea model': president
- American Apparel starts layoffs: sources
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!