Friday, October 24, 2008

Lending Support to the 10 Detainees

Batu Gajah MP Fong Poh Kuan and I puzzled at the sight of so many riot police trucks

This morning 8:30am at Putrajaya Magistrate court a.k.a. Kajang criminal court, Member of Parliament for Batu Gajah, Fong Poh Kuan and I attended the remand hearing of the 10 people arrested yesterday when they attempted to submit a letter at the Prime Minister Department's office in Putrajaya, appealing for ISA detainees to be freed.

Security was tight at the court complex. Lawyers (myself), though deemed as officials of court, and lawmakers (Poh Kuan and myself) were made to surrender identification cards to the police before entering the court. Only lawyers and family members of the detainees were allowed to enter.

Security was even spectacular outside the court complex. About 8 to 10 riot police vehicles including a water-cannon truck and a large number of FRU personnel have been deployed there.

The hearing started around 10am due to the delay of the police. The magistrate reprimanded the police for the delay. Remand hearings must be held at 8:30am, said the magistrate.

The police have applied for a two-week remand for the 10 detainees, however, the magistrate only extended remand to 3 days till Sunday. Just in time for the 10 to celebrate Deepavali on Monday.

Their arrest and further remand do not make sense at all. Will any criminal go to submit a letter to the head of state in broad daylight?

Lim Lip Eng

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