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Friday, April 14, 2017

Lawyer demands Poca detainee be produced in court

Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) detainee RS Vishnu Moorthy's lawyer has demanded that both the court and the police uphold the Federal Constitution by producing his client, whom he has not been allowed to meet, in court.
On March 29, Vishnu Moorthy was detained for 21 days under Poca and has had no access to his lawyer or his family since.
His lawyer P Uthayakumar today applied for an order to produce (OTP) to be issued to Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani to produce Vishnu Moorthy in court on at 9am on April 17, which marks the last day of his detention period.
“I have the right to see my client under Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution,” Uthayakumar said after filing the application at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
Article 5(3) states: "Where a person is arrested, he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest and shall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice."
Uthayakumar also filed a writ of habeas corpus along with a certificate of urgency with court registrar Mohd Aizatul.
The prayers in his habeas corpus are that Vishnu Moorthy be brought to court and released, his wife and lawyer be allowed to meet him, and thirdly, in the event the prosecution (the Attorney-General’s Chambers) is granted more time to respond to their affidavit, Vishnu Moorthy’s lawyer and wife be allowed to meet with him.
The prayers were made on grounds of Article 5(2) of the Federal Constitution that states: "Where complaint is made to a High Court or any judge thereof that a person is being unlawfully detained, the court shall inquire into the complaint and, unless satisfied that the detention is lawful, shall order him to be produced before the court and release him."
On top of not being able to meet him, Uthayakumar along with the detainee’s wife and parents, have no knowledge about where Vishnu Moorthy is being detained or any details of the investigation against him.
Uthayakumar questioned why his client was detained, despite previously cooperating with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“He previously gave statements to them (police and MACC), is it because they (the police) didn’t have enough evidence, that they used a shortcut to detain him under Poca?
“We don’t want another Teoh Beng Hock case where there was a death in custody,” he said.
Vishnu Moorthy was detained under Poca on March 29 for his involvement in VenusFX, a foreign exchange scheme that allegedly swindled RM80 million from more than 23,000 investors.
According to filings by his wife A Mageswarie, he had worked at the company for slightly over a year and was "just a salesperson", with no decision-making role.

Uthayakumar previously filed an application in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to challenge his client’s 21-day detention.
He had explained how the purpose of Poca is for the prevention of crime and for the control of secret societies and terrorists, not for use in commercial fraud cases.
According to the police, six people have been arrested for their involvement with VenusFX.- Mkini

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