Lawyer N.Surendran who is acting for Air Force Sergeant N.Tharmendran in the jet engine theft case is now being threatened with criminal proceedings by the RMAF Chief.

This is as a result of the position taken by Tharmendran that his service with the air force has ended on 28.5.10.

The air force’s own documents show that his service had ended on 28.5.10 and they had stopped paying his salary for several months after June 2010.

The air force now mischievously caims that Tharmendran is a deserter.

By a letter dated 28.10.10 to N.Surendran, the air force Chief has threatened him with s.135 and 136 of Penal Code allegedly for abetting a deserter which carries a 2 year prison sentence. (Letter attached)

This is a serious and unprecedented interference with the duties of a lawyer defending his client in a criminal matter.

The RMAF Chief has also made an outrageous demand ordering Surendran to advise his client as demanded by the RMAF.

Surendran has been given 7 days to comply with the demands or face action.

Members of the Malaysian Bar do not take instructions from the Armed Forces as to what to advise their clients. This unlawful threat and demand against Surendran must be immediately withdrawn, and the Minister of Defence must answer for the actions of the Air Force Chief to the public and the Bar.

We will also be raising the matter with the Bar Council.

Released by,

Latheefa Koya

Lawyers for Liberty