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Police countered that it took them only eight minutes to respond to the shooting in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in which Fadi al-Batsh was shot dead by two assailants on a motorbike on April 21. He also claimed that the police only arrived after 50 minutes, despite 43 calls being made, with an ambulance arriving only an hour later.

"I agree I did a mistake because I didn't ask what the law of this country is", the news agency AFP quoted the Dane. "I seriously apologise to everybody in Malaysia, not just in the Malaysian police", he told the Guardian.

Courts in Malaysia have for the first time sent a person to jail using powers afforded by new fake news laws.

A Danish national is the first to be punished under the newly enacted Anti-Fake News Act, over a YouTube video he had posted regarding the shooting of a supposed Hamas member.

He was sentenced to a week's jail and fined RM10,000 (S$3,378) under the Anti-Fake News Act which came into force on April 11 and provides for stiff punishments of up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of RM500,000.

Salah, a horse groomer by trade, was sentenced by Sessions Court judge Zaman Mohd Noor after pleading guilty to the charge that was read out to him in English.

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Gottweis' memorandum and a cover note, authored by an unnamed senior VW executive, were then sent to Winterkorn. But only two VW engineers have been jailed after pleading guilty to participating in the conspiracy.

The court sentenced Salah, who is in Malaysia for a holiday, to a week's jail and fined him 10,000 ringgit ($2,551).

Salah reportedly said he didn't have money to pay the fine and will have to serve another month in jail instead.

The law banning fake news has sparked concern the government is seeking to crack down on criticism, particularly with a general election looming on May 9. Police have yet to identify the suspects, but believe they are still in the country.

The law covers digital publications and social media and also applies to offenders outside Malaysia, including foreigners, if Malaysia or a Malaysian citizen are affected.

Critics have alleged that the new law aims at repressing dissent and a media company has filed a suit that seeks to declare it unconstitutional.