KUALA LUMPUR: The remand application by the police against Anything But Umno (ABU) movement leader Haris Ibrahim, PKR vice president Tian Chua and PAS’ Thamrin Ghafar has been rejected.
All three – arrested yesterday – were ordered to be released immediately.
Lawyer Afiq M Noor who was among those who represented the trio wrote on his Twitter: “The remand order for Tian Chua has been rejected. Remand application against Haris Ibrahim and Thamrin Ghafar has also been rejected.”
Magistrate Norashikin Sahat rejected the remand application based on several grounds.
Among others, she said the reasoning given by the police was too general to remand the trio. There was also no investigation done against the three since their arrest yesterday.
The police had earlier requested that the three be remanded for seven days under section 124(B) of the Penal Code.
“The police have applied for a seven day remand even though they have not investigated the case,” a source told FMT earlier today.
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainuddin Ahmad confirmed to Bernama that Tian Chua, who is also Batu member of parliament, opposition supporter Haris and Tamrin had been released.
The remand hearing began at 11am in Jinjang detention centre and ended at 3pm.
The three were arrested under the Sedition Act yesterday for allegedly calling for the toppling of the Barisan Nasional government as the results of the general election were tainted.
There were altogether 14 lawyers representing the three in the remand hearing. Among them were R Sivarasa, S Ambiga, William Leong, N Surendran and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
Outside the detention centre today about 50 people held a gathering in support of the three.
Clear signal from the judiciary
Lawyers for the trio lauded the magistrate’s decision.
“The magistrate upheld section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code which is related to remand procedures.
“There was no investigation done in the first 24 hours after they were arrested and remands are meant to assist an ongoing investigation,” said Afiq M Noor.
N Surendran meanwhile criticised the BN government for abusing its power.
“The magistrate made a correct decision. The police had acted on behalf of Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. It is an abuse of power by the government.
“The decision is a clear signal from the judiciary to the BN government not to trample on people’s fundamental freedom of expression,” he said.
R Sivarasa meanwhile criticised the police for attempting to obtain a remand.
“Remanding people for speeches they made is wrong. You have the speeches recorded on video. It is a politically motivated attempt to punish Pakatan politicians,” he said.
Another counsel G Sivamalar meanwhile said that the decision proves that the judiciary provides justice.
“It is a right time for the judiciary to step in and protect the people from being oppressed. Remand hearings must not be treated as mere rubber stamps by the police,” she said.
In a related development, Bar Council criticised the usage of Sedition Act against the trio and student activist Adam Adli as an “oppressive method to close democratic space”.
Bar Council president Christopher Leong said that the arrests showed that the government was not keeping up with its words.
K. Pragalath Free Malaysia Today