Hindraf leader arrested, freed on bail, arrested again

December 12th, 2007 - 1:22 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 12 (ANI): In a dramatic sequence of events, police in Malaysia twice arrested Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar over alleged charges of sedition.
At 9.20 a.m., the policemen picked him up outside a shopping mall in Bangsar and brought him to a Sessions Court at noon to face a charge of publishing a seditious letter on the Police Watch website.
Eight hours after he was given bail for allegedly posting the November 15 letter on the website, he was arrested again in the lobby of the Jalan Duta court complex.
By 7 p.m., his lawyer M. Manoharan said that Uthayakumar had been taken to the Pudu prison in connection with another sedition case.
A group of Hindraf supporters gathered outside the Pudu jail at night and held a candle light vigil. There was a heavy police presence there and part of Jalan Hang Tuah was closed. Soon after midnight, the crowd dispersed without any untoward incident.
In the proceedings earlier in the day, Uthayakumar pleaded that he was not guilty to a charge of publishing the alleged letter, which was addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Judge Sabariah Othman ruled that it was a bailable offence, and considered his similar case in Klang as well as the current situation.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail objected to the bail, saying that it was in public interest.
The Star Online quoted him as saying that the accused had repeated the offence.
“He is a lawyer and knew the meaning of the words used in the letter. He purposefully did it on a website which is accessible to everyone,” Gani claimed.
Gani said that there was another police report against Uthayakumar for sedition. “We will be charging this man again,” he added.
Justice Sabariah ruled that the absence of a signature did not make the charge defective and rejected the preliminary objection by the defence.
Uthayakumar is among three Hindraf leaders who are charged for allegedly making speeches to incite hatred at a gathering in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, on November 16.
On Monday, the Shah Alam High Court ruled that the Sessions Court judge had made a mistake when, on November 26, she granted the three lawyers a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. (ANI)

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