Two more charged with supporting LTTE, others slapped with additional terror-linked charges

Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathiser V. Suresh Kumar is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathiser V. Suresh Kumar is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Two more people have been charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group, while several others have been slapped with additional charges at the Sessions Court here.

State councillor V. Suresh Kumar, 43, and grocery shop owner B. Subramaniam, 57, were each accused of supporting the now defunct Sri Lankan militant group through their Facebook accounts in charges framed under Section 130J(1)(a) of the Penal Code for the alleged offences before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi.

According to the chargesheet, Suresh Kumar was accused of committing the offence in the investigators office belonging to the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur around 6pm on October 11.

As for Subramaniam, he was accused of committing a similar offence at the same location around 5.30pm on October 7.

The offence under Section 130J(1)(a) of the Penal Code carries life imprisonment or jail for a maximum 30 years, or a fine and can have any of their properties used in the offence confiscated upon conviction.

Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathiser B. Subramaniam is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathiser B. Subramaniam is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Both nodded to indicate they understood the charges when it was read out in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil by a court interpreter.

Meanwhile, Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran was also slapped with an additional count of terror-related criminal offence connected to the same militant group in the same court.

Gunasekaran was accused of committing the offence by giving support to LTTE through his Facebook account — DAP Guna Palanisamy — at the investigators’ office belonging to the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur around 2pm on October 7.

In separate Session Courts, nine others, including Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, were also charged with supporting the terrorist group through their respective Facebook accounts and possessing materials related to the group, in addition to existing charges levelled against them.

Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are escorted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are escorted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

The remaining eight accused were named A. Kalaimughilan, V. Balamurugan, S. Teran, S. Chandru, R. Sundram, S. Arivainthan, M. Pumugan and S. Thanagaraj.

All of the charges were similarly framed under Section 130J(1)(a) of the Penal Code.

All nine were all charged with giving support to the LTTE terrorist group by using their social media accounts namely, “Gsami Nathan Siva”, “Kalai Mugilan”, “Balamurugan Veerasamy”, “Tamil Kannamah”,  “Chandru Suparmaniam”, “Elilan Elilan”, “Ariventhan Subramaniam”, “Pumagan Tamilan”, and “Tamilarasan Sivam”.

They were each accused with committing the offences at the investigators’ office belonging to the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur here at 9am and 3pm between January 11 and October 11 this year.

Teran was also charged under Section 130JB(1)(a) of the same law with possession of items linked to LTTE at the B2 car park of Mandarin Pacific Hotel, Jalan Sultan here at 11.40am last October 10.

If found guilty, Teran can be sentenced to jail for a maximum of seven years, or a fine and can have any of their properties used in the offence confiscated.

Apart from Facebook, Kalaimughilan was also hit with two charges of giving support to the LTTE, first through YouTube at the investigators office belonging to the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur at 10am on June 2, 2014.

Family members of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are pictured outside a courtroom at the Kuala High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Family members of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are pictured outside a courtroom at the Kuala High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

In a second charge, he was accused of committing the same offence during an event at Dewan Tan Sri Soma, Wisma Tun Sambanthan, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Attap here between 8pm and 11.30pm on March 17, 2014.

He also faced an additional charge for allegedly distributing terrorism-related paraphernalia belonging to the LTT at the same address between 8pm and 11.30pm on the same day.

No plea was recorded from all of the accused as they were to be tried under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.

Almost two-thirds of the courtroom was filled with family members, with several DAP MPs also present in support of those who were charged.

Family members of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are pictured outside a courtroom at the Kuala High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Family members of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sympathisers are pictured outside a courtroom at the Kuala High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

The reading of all the charges were conducted before Sessions Court judges Azman Ahmad and Rozina Ayob.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad led the prosecution team in the three courts while five of the accused were represented by lawyer Ramkarpal Singh.

With the exception of Subramaniam and Suresh Kumar, the 10 men were charged in the Sessions Court with similar offences in five states on October 29.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh who represented five of the accused, applied for the court to use its discretion to allow his client bail on grounds that their detention under Sosma was unconstitutional and asked for the issue on bail to be referred to the High Court.

The court set tomorrow for decision.

The LTTE had been active in Sri Lanka until it was officially defeated in 2009. It has been classified as a terrorist group by 32 countries including Malaysia, which did so in 2014.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 31, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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