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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Judge throws out PSM application

High Court dismisses application by 30 PSM detainees for a judicial review of the seven-day remand order obtained by the police.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang High Court today dismissed an application for a judicial review of a seven-day remand obtained by police on 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members.

High Court Judge Zamani Abdul Rahim said the police had complied with all requirements under Section 117 2(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to remand the suspects.

He said the police were right to obtain the remand order from the Butterworth Sessions Court last Sunday as the offence of waging war against the King was a serious crime.

Zamani, however, issued a directive to the police to allow families of detainees to visit them.

Sungai Siput MP Dr D Micheal Jeyakumar, PSM deputy chief M Saraswathy and a bus driver known as Selvam were among the 30 arrested at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in North-South Expressway at 4pm last Saturday.

Also in the group were a teacher, four students and five women above the age of 50. They made an application for revision of the remand order under Section 323 of the CPC.

PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, Jeyakumar’s wife Rani Rasiah and other family members of those detained were present at the court hearing.

Zamani heard arguments from the detainees’ defence counsel and the prosecution for two hours yesterday.

No evidence

The defence contended that police did not have material evidence to investigate them under Section 122 for allegedly waging war against the King.

The PSM members alleged that police failed to comply with requirements under sub-section 117.2(b) of the CPC.

Under the sub-section, police can remand a person for a week if the offence carried a jail sentence of 14 years and above, and life imprisonment upon conviction.

However, the defence argued that police did not seize from them any firearms, ammunition, explosives or any other weapons necessary to wage a war against the King.

Even if they were being investigated, the case should be for an offence that carries a sentence below 14 years.

Hence, they argued that their remand order should be under sub-section 117.2(a) of CPC which allowed only a four-day remand.

The detainees’ legal team comprised senior lawyer CV Prabakaran, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Agatha Foo, Karen Lai, V Parthipan, Sukinder Pal Singh, C Ravi Chander, Rowena Nair, RSN Rayer, VS Raventharan and Jason Ong.

The prosecution team was senior deputy public prosecutors Wahab Mohamed and Suhaimi Ibrahim.

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