KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — The Home Ministry will consult related agencies over the Attorney General’s Chambers’ move to withdraw charges against 12 people allegedly linked to the defunct Liberation Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), barely a month after Tan Sri Tommy Thomas announced the decision.
Its minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said his ministry will meet with relevant officials to undertake the review, Malay tabloid Sinar Harian reported today.
“Terrorism is not just a national problem but a global threat,” he was quoted as saying.
If true, the decision comes just a week after Thomas quit as AG. The dozen, among them two DAP state lawmakers, were freed and discharged on February 21.
The call was made on the belief that there is “no realistic prospects of conviction” on the 34 charges filed against them, Thomas explained in an 11-page statement.
The 12 were charged under the Penal Code for supporting the alleged terrorism group in 2014 and 2019.
Thomas stepped down just a week after amid one of the country’s worst political crises, following Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as prime minister.
The case was mired in partisan politics after Thomas’ critics claim the discharge was due to pressure from the DAP and liberal groups sympathetic to the then Pakatan Harapan government.
The decision to drop prosecution was also criticised by the home minister at the time, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who said the police acted on solid evidence to arrest and charge the 12.
Hamzah, sworn in as the new home minister on Monday, was quoted as saying that stern action will be taken should the review found the suspects to be involved with terrorism.
“Should it be necessary, we will take stern action in accordance with the law and constitution,” he said.
Human rights groups have argued their arrests and detention were unlawful.