1MDB critics out on bail as court rules against SOSMA use

Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (left) was detained since September 23 under anti-terrorism law SOSMA after a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB. ― File pic
Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (left) was detained since September 23 under anti-terrorism law SOSMA after a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― The High Court here today found that the sabotage charge against two critics of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) did not fall under the purview of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said that the security law was passed without the intention to include cases on banking and financial services, and granted former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang bail at RM10,000 each with a single surety.

Khairudin’s lawyer, Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said that he expected the deputy public prosecutor to file an appeal but was glad for the decision today.

“What is most important right now is that both Datuk Khairuddin and Matthias Chang have been released today on bail,” he told reporters here.

On October 12, Khairuddin and Chang were jointly charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code, which was read together with Section 34, over the reports they lodged against 1MDB with authorities in France, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and Switzerland.

Khairuddin was detained since September 23 under anti-terrorism law SOSMA after a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB.

His lawyer Chang was detained later on October 8 under the same law.

In his ruling, Justice Azman said that Article 149(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, which covers acts prejudicial to the maintenance or functioning of supplies or services to the public, was excluded from SOSMA's preamble.

With the charges against the duo being categorised as described in Article 149(1)(e), Justice Azman ruled that the case did not fall under the anti-terrorism law and is to be tried in the Sessions Court.

Justice Azman set January 12, 2016 for a case mention before the case is transferred.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also present to witness the ruling.

“I am very glad that justice has been done,” he told reporters outside of the court.

“I have always thought there was no case under that law and now the judge have said so. I am very grateful and I hope that this will always be the stand of the judges ― that they are neutral and that they go according to the law.”

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