Malaysian HC rejects bid to free Hindraf leadersSeptember 9th, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by ANI
Ipoh (Malaysia), Sep 9 (ANI): The Malaysian High Court has rejected the habeas corpus application for the release of the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders.
It ruled that the Advisory Board of the detention centre in Kamunting had the right to reject the detainees” request to hear and cross-examine evidence given by the investigating officer, the NST Online reported.
Was there a breach of basic rights when the investigating officer gave his evidence in the absence of the detainees or their lawyers? asked Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim.
The board could also use its discretion to reject the detainees” application for the notes of proceedings to protect secrets in cases of national interest, he said, adding that the notes of proceedings were neither a public document nor subject to judicial review.
On May 30, the five detained Hindraf leaders filed their second habeas corpus application for their release, claiming that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’’s decision to extend their detention under the Internal Security Act, which was based on the AB’’s recommendations, was “procedurally fatally flawed”.
The five detainees — lawyers R. Kengadharan, 41, M. Manoharan, 47, V. Ganabatirau, 35, P. Uthayakumar, 47, and Hindraf coordinator K. Vasantha Kumar, 35 — named the Home Minister and the commandant of the Kamunting detention centre as respondents.
Lead counsel for the detainees, Karpal Singh, said they would appeal to the Federal Court.
I”m a little disturbed by the decision of the court that proceedings can be conducted in camera in the absence of the detainee and his counsel. The court virtually endorsed the right of the board to conduct secret proceedings, Singh said. (ANI)