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Monday, December 28, 2020

Federal Court reserves decision on release bid by three under Poca detention

 


The Federal Court in Putrajaya today reserved its decision on the final attempt by a ‘Datuk’ and two policemen for an immediate release from detention under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959 in connection with an illegal online gambling syndicate.

A five-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat deferred the judgment on the appeal by businessman Zaidi Kanapiah, who is better known as “Datuk Addy Kana”, Corporal Muhamad Amin Nur Rashid Mohamed Puad and Corporal Mohd Hairy Mohammad, all aged between 34 and 39, after hearing submissions from both parties.

“We will KIV (keep in view) the decision. We adjourn this case,” said Tengku Maimun, who presided the appeal with Federal Court Justices Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Zaleha Yusof, Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Rhodzariah Bujang.

The proceedings were conducted online where the five judges and several court officers were in an open court while counsel Gopal Sri Ram, who represented the trio and Senior Federal Counsel Muhammad Sinti representing the four respondents, namely investigating officer ASP Khairul Fairoz Rodzuan, a magistrate at Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court, Inspector-General of Police and the government of Malaysia, appeared virtually before the panel via Zoom.

Zaidi, Muhamad Amin and Mohd Hairy are appealing against the High Court’s dismissal of their applications for a writ of habeas corpus for an immediate release.

In their application, they said their arrest and detention on Oct 11, 2020, under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 was illegal, has no basis, not compliance in procedure and mala fide.

They also seek an order that the remand order dated Oct 14, 2020, by a magistrate of the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court that allowed the police application for the applicants’ detention for a period of 21 days from Oct 14 until Nov 3 under Section 4(1)(a) of Poca was illegal, has no basis and mala fide.

Zaidi Kanapiah (left) and Goh Leong Yeong

On Oct 30, Magistrate M Mageswary had also allowed the police application to extend the remand order period against the three for another 38 days until Dec 6.

Dissatisfied with the High Court ruling on Nov 2, the trio then filed the appeal to the Federal Court on the same day. As their applications are for habeas corpus, the appeal will go straight to the Federal Court.

According to the police, the three and another man, Goh Leong Yeong or Alvin Goh, were currently been detained under Poca for two years at the Simpang Renggam Special Rehabilitation Centre (PPK) in Johor; Pokok Sena PPK in Kedah; and Bentong PPK in Pahang.

The orders against them were issued on Nov 25 and 26 before all of them were brought before Prevention of Crime Board (Home Ministry) for further action.

At the outset, Sri Ram had, among others, submitted that the three’s detention were infected with mala fide (in bad faith) to suppress information on corrupt police officers.

He also argued that Section 4(1)(a) of Poca was unconstitutional because it violates the doctrine of separation of powers.

Muhammad countered that there was no merit in the issue of mala fide brought by the appellants (the three) that warrants interference by the apex court against the High Court ruling.

"This is because the appellants who were detained are suspects and not material witnesses," he said.

- Bernama

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