KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 4 — The police have wrongly interpreted the law when stating they cannot rearrest the Bersatu youth member for the murder of security guard Theva Sagayam, says Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.

The DAP MP then called upon Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Azizan Harun to speed up the process to proffer charges under section 302 of the Penal Code for the offence of murder, adding that the statement made by Perak police chief is tantamount to misdirection. 

“Perak Police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid had issued a statement stating that the Bersatu youth member who was earlier charged with assault of a security guard cannot be rearrested as Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution states that a person who has been acquitted or convicted of an offence shall not be tried again for the same offence except where the conviction or acquittal has been quashed and a retrial ordered by a higher court. 

“It is this opinion which is unsustainable, wrong in law and amounts to a misdirection. The accused was only charged on January 6, 2021 and his case has been dragging on since then, with no hearing date fixed,” he said. 

He urged Mior to clarify if the accused had pleaded guilty and is out on bail, as only then Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution will protect him from being charged again for the same offence based on the same facts and evidence.

“There are numerous cases in Malaysia where when one has been charged for rape and murder, the accused would obtain bail for rape but would fail to do so for murder. It is trite law that murder is not a bailable offence,” he said. 

Kulasegaran said that since the case has now been reclassified as a murder case, the case now is not a bailable offence, and as such it gives the opportunity for the accused to abscond if action is not taken swiftly. 

“Furthermore, our team of lawyers feel to the contrary that the Perak Police Chief should adhere and apply Section 23(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code which clearly states that any police officer may without a warrant re-arrest the accused in light of the recent development in the untimely death of the late Theva Sagayam.

“The reclassification of investigation to a murder case by the police is in itself admittance that reasonable suspicion exists against the accused that he has committed murder,” he said. 

Thava, who was a condominium security guard here, was attacked by a visitor, reportedly after barring his attacker from using the condo swimming pool in December.

Widely-shared video clips of the incident show a man approaching the guard aggressively, raising his hands and pointing fingers before slamming a table on the guard who then falls on the floor.

The assaulter is seen pacing around the motionless guard while a young child stands nearby.

The assaulter leaves the scene after lifting the victim’s head and sees something below it.

The case was initially investigated under Section 335 of the Penal Code with the suspect charged on 6 January at the Ipoh Magistrates’ Court. That case is scheduled to be mentioned on September 9.

However, Mior said they have reclassified the case, on the day of where the man died (August, 27), under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Mior added that police are still awaiting further instruction from the deputy public prosecutor.