Release LTTE-linked detainees now that police probe is done, lawyer tells AG

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the 12 people detained by the police for alleged links with the LTTE must be released immediately following the completion of their probe and submission of the investigation papers to the AGC. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the 12 people detained by the police for alleged links with the LTTE must be released immediately following the completion of their probe and submission of the investigation papers to the AGC. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — The 12 people detained by the police for alleged links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must be released immediately following the completion of their probe and submission of the investigation papers to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), a lawyer representing them said today.

DAP national legal bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh said there was no need for the detainees to be further remanded under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) as the police announced it was now up to prosecutors to press charges.

“According to Ayob Khan, it is now up to the attorney general (AG) to decide whether or not to charge the said detainees.

“As such, there is no longer a need to hold them under Sosma and they should accordingly be charged forthwith if the AG is of the view that there is evidence against them,” he said in a statement here, refering to Bukit Aman counter-terrorism division chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.

Earlier today, Ayob Khan said police had submitted the papers to the AGC on Wednesday after having wrapped up their investigations.

Ramkarpal pointed out that while Sosma allowed for a 28-day detention, it was imperative for the AG to recognise the deprivation of the detainees’ liberty was a gross violation of their human rights that may be found unlawful.

He also urged the AG to prosecute the detainees in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and offer bail if the latter was of the view that there was sufficient evidence against them.

This he said, was because bail may be refused if the detainees were charged for an offence under the Penal Code read together with Sosma.

“Refusing them bail serves no useful purpose as they are only suspected of committing an offence at this stage.

“If the authorities are so confident of the purported evidence it possesses against the said detainees, there should not be a problem charging them pursuant to the CPC without the need to resort to the draconian provisions of Sosma during their trials.

“In the circumstances, I urge the AG to either charge the said detainees under the CPC and offer them bail pending trial or release them forthwith,” he said.

Ramkarpal who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, also said two of the detainees — Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran and Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan — were elected representatives and depriving bail pending trial would result in them unable to serve their constituents.

Apart from representing Gunasekaran and Saminathan, Ramkarpal is also representing three other detainees named S. Arivainthan, S. Chandru and V. Suresh Kumar.

Last Monday, Ramkarpal filed a habeas corpus application at the High Court to challenge their detention under Sosma.

The High Court is scheduled to hear the habeas corpus application by five of the detainees at on October 31.

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