High Court rejects Macau scam suspect’s habeas corpus for immediate release from Poca detention

A businessman in remand under Poca 1959 in connection with an illegal online gambling syndicate, will remain under police custody until December 20. — Istock pic
A businessman in remand under Poca 1959 in connection with an illegal online gambling syndicate, will remain under police custody until December 20. — Istock pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — A businessman, known as ‘Alvin Goh’, who is in remand under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959 in connection with an illegal online gambling syndicate, will remain under police custody until December 20.

This followed a decision by High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid in dismissing the application by the businessman, whose real name is Goh Leong Yeong, 32, for a writ of habeas corpus for an immediate release.

“Having gone through the written submissions and authorities applied by the applicant (Goh) and respondents, I am in agreement with the respondents on the preliminary objection.

“Therefore, I dismiss this application (habeas corpus),” said Azhar in a brief ruling after hearing the submissions by both parties.

Goh filed the application through a notice of motion in the High Court on November 3 and named investigating officer ASP Khairul Fairoz Rodzuan, a magistrate at the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court, the inspector-general of police and the government of Malaysia as the first to fourth respondents.

Lawyers Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Gobind Singh Deo and Jacky Loi represented Goh, while Senior Federal Counsel Muhammad Sinti acted for the respondents. 

Goh was reported to have escaped by climbing over the fence at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya last month upon being released by the MACC in relation to investigation over online gambling.

Earlier, Muhammad, in his submissions on the preliminary objection against the habeas corpus application, said the application had become academic and there was no live issue as Goh was challenging the (earlier) 21-day remand order under Poca.

“But he is now under 38-day remand, as the police had obtained another 38-day detention order from the Magistrate’s Court here last Friday.

“However, the application today is to challenge the 21-day detention order,” he added.

Sri Ram argued that the section under Poca his client was being detained under was unconstitutional, and, therefore, any orders made under it was a nullity. 

Later, Muhammad told the press that Goh is now on a 38-day detention under Poca which expires on December 20.

In the application, Goh said his arrest and detention on October 27 under Section 4(1) (c) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and under Section 4 (1) (a) of the Poca on October 31 was unlawful, did not comply with procedures and a mala fide.

He sought for an order that the remand order, dated October 31, by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court, which allowed his detention for 21 days from October 31 to November 21 under Poca was unlawful.

On November 2, the High Court here dismissed an application by Zaidi Kanapiah, or better known as 'Datuk Addy Kana,' Corporal Muhamad Amin Nur Rashid Mohamed Puad and Corporal Mohd Hairy Mohammad for a writ of habeas corpus for an immediate release 

They were also detained under Poca for the same investigation. — Bernama

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