KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — DAP leaders today commended Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas for admitting the futility in prosecuting 12 Malaysians for their purported support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Its legal bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh said the decision to discontinue was a sound one as the AG had admitted the charges had been weak and that it would be hard to secure convictions without concrete evidence to show the 12 accused had committed “acts of terrorism”.
“Acts of terrorism can surely never be condoned but the nature of the charges against the said 12 suggest they never committed any acts of terrorism.
“The AG must be commended for having the courage to recognise the fact that the said charges are weak at best and to decide to discontinue proceedings against the said 12, which is entirely at his discretion,” Ramkarpal said in a statement.
He noted Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s past assurance of the Pakatan Harapan government’s commitment to the rule of law and voiced his confidence that it had been “observed in this case”.
“What needs to be done now is to produce all of the said 12 in court forthwith for the purpose of withdrawing the charges against them, after which they will be acquitted of the same and immediately released.
“There is no longer any reason to hold them any longer than is necessary,” Ramkarpal said.
His call for the immediate release of the 12 was echoed by his colleague and veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang.
In a brief media statement today, Lim said he is also looking forward to the release of two DAP lawmakers who were among the dozen charged.
“The decision of the Attorney General Tommy Thomas to discontinue prosecution proceedings against the twelve persons for alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) with immediate effect is most welcome.
“I look forward to the release of Negri Sembilan State Assemblyman for Seremban Jaya P. Gunasekaran, Malacca State Exco and State Assemblyman for Gadek G. Saminathan and other DAP members among the twelve as free men,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said.
Lim also reiterated the DAP’s stance against terrorism.
“DAP reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in any form and reaffirms its commitment to effect political change through peaceful, non-violent and democratic means and to eschew any resort to any violence or any form of terrorism,” he said.
In an announcement just hours earlier, Thomas said he was discontinuing the court cases against the 12 after finding insufficient evidence to back its prosecution that would lead to a “realistic prospect of conviction”.