Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sosma cannot bypass normal procedures, safeguards, rights (FMT News)

Sosma cannot bypass normal procedures, safeguards, rights

Suresh Kashuerin
 | September 28, 2015 
The proof of guilt is not a matter for the police or prosecution to determine but a Court of Law.


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture, MADPET, warned in a statement that the authorities concerned cannot avoid normal procedures, safeguards and rights by invoking the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA). “It’s important to adhere to the legal principle that a person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.”

“This proof of guilt is not a matter for the police or prosecution to determine but a Court of Law.”

The NGO was expressing shock that sacked Umno Batu Kawan deputy divisional chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan was reportedly being held under SOSMA for reporting alleged cover-ups on wrongdoing at 1MDB and attempts to sweep them under the carpet. “His arrest seems to be designed to deter the people from lodging reports against powerful personalities and companies.”

The NGO called for Khairuddin to be released immediately, SOSMA scrapped and any law that talks about activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy be abolished.

MADPET Spokesman Charles Hector noted that Khairuddin was initially held under section 124C of the Penal Code for “attempts to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy”.

Even this section, he added, was too vague since there seems to be not even a definition as to what really would be an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy. “This section can be easily abused and should be removed from the books.”

“When the Court released Khairuddin last Wednesday, possibly denying the police application for further remand, he was immediately re-arrested outside the Court under sections 124K and 124L of the Penal Code for the offence of committing ‘sabotage’ and attempting to do so respectively,” said Hector.

The NGO wants to know whether there was new evidence to justify Khairuddin’s re-arrest after being released by the Court. “Unless new evidence had come to light, following his release, an immediate re-arrest of a suspect would be wrong.”

“If Khairuddin’s re-arrest was for a different offence, based on the same parts of the Penal Code, and based on the same facts, the re-arrest would be wrong.”

Hector charged that the police seemed to have no respect for the Court that released Khairuddin. “They had five days during remand to investigate him on the alleged offences. There was no need to re-arrest him and put him under further detention.”

If SOSMA is used, he pointed out, the police would be shutting out the Court as it would not be able to ensure that the authorities concerned are not abusing their powers of remand.

“There’s no necessity to continue to hold a suspect in detention, after being released, as he could always be called to give further statements,” said Hector. “If the prosecution has sufficient evidence, rightly the person should be charged in Court, and any application for bail could be challenged. Even if released on bail, the Court could order that the accused not leave the country.” - FMT News 28/9/2015

Full MADPET Statement - see MADPET Blog

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