Court orders Raja Petra to be released from Kamunting by 4 p.m. today

Malaysiakini has the story …

Court orders Raja Petra’s release
Hafiz Yatim | Nov 7, 08 9:46am
The Shah Alam High Court this morning ruled that the detention of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA was illegal and ordered his immediate release.


Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad said that Raja Petra’s detention was unconstitutional.

He said the Home Minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA to issue the detention order against Raja Petra.

The judge also ordered that Raja Petra, editor of the popular Malaysia Today website, be produced in court by 4pm today after which he should be immediately released.

Raja Petra is being held at the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 03Raja Petra’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah who was present in court this morning expressed her gratitude to the court for ordering the release of her husband.

A handful of Raja Petra supporters were also present in the court.

The ruling by the court followed a habeas corpus application by Raja Petra’s counsel seeking his release from detention under the security law.

The blogger was arrested on Sept 12 by police and held at an unknown location before he was sent to Kamunting on Sept 23.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Sept 22 had signed a detention order for him to be held under section 8(1) of the ISA. Under the Act, the initial two-year detention period without trial can be renewed indefinitely

Syed Hamid had at the time told reporters that he was satisfied with the reasons given by the police for the blogger’s detention.

raja petra to police station on burma doctor sd 040908 03“The detention is due to Raja Petra’s articles that ridiculed Islam which could arouse anger among Muslims,” he had claimed.

“The police had recommended his detention and after going through the papers, we are satisfied that there are strong grounds for him to be further detained for two years (in Kamunting).”

According to his lawyer J Chandra, Raja Petra (left) was arrested for publishing articles on his news portal which allegedly tarnished the leadership of the country and insulted the sanctity of Islam.

The former newspaper columnist had earlier been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian national.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 01This was the second time that Raja Petra has been arrested under the ISA.

He had first been detained in 2001, at the height of the reformasi movement triggered by the sacking and jailing of former deputy premier and now Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

However, Raja Petra was released after 53 days in police custody, without being sent to Kamunting.

4 thoughts on “Court orders Raja Petra to be released from Kamunting by 4 p.m. today

  1. lee wee tak

    Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam High Court pada pagi ini memutuskan bahawa penahanan bloger terkenal Raja Petra Kamarudin bawah ISA adalah salah dan mesti dilepaskan serta merta.

    Hakim Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad berkata penahanan Raja Petra’s dbertentangan dengan peruntukan perlembagaan

    Beliau menyatakan bahawa Menteri Perihal Dalaman tidak mengikut tentuan seksyen 8 ISA dalam mengeluarkan perintah menahan Raja Petra.

    Hakim juga memerntah bahawa Raja Petra, pengarang website kegemaran ramai Malaysia Today, dibawa ke mahkamah pukul 4 petang hari ini dan dilepaskan serta merta.

    Raja Petra kini ditahan di kem penahanan Kamunting di Perak.

    Isteri Raja Petra Marina Lee Abdullah yang hadir di mahkamah pagi ini menyatakan penghargaannya terhadap pihak mahkamah dalam melepaskan suaminya.

    Beberapa prang penyokong Raja Petra juga berada di mahkamah

    Keputusan mahkamah ada berikutan permohonan habeas corpus oleh penguambela yang mewakili Raja Petr yang bertujuan memohon beliau supaya dilepaskan daripada tahanan bawah ISA.

    Blogger ini ditahan pada 12 Sept oleh pihak polis dan ditahan di tempat rahsia sebelum dihantar ke Kamunting pada 23 Sept.

    Menteri Perihal Dalaman Syed Hamid Albar pada 22 Sept telah menandatangani perintah tahanan bawah seksyen 8 (1) ISA. Menurut akta ini, tahanan pertama selama 2 tahun tanpa bicara boleh dilanjut tanpa had.

    Syed Hamid pada masa itu memberitahu pemberita bahawa beliau puas hati dengan alasan pihak polis untuk menahan blogger tersebut.

    “Tahanan beliau adalah kerana tulisannya yang menghina Islam yang boleh menimbul kemarahan orang Muslim,” menurutnya.

    “Pihak polis mencadangkan penahanannya dan setelah menyemak kertas kerja, kami puas hati dengan adanya alasan kukuh menahannya di Kamunting selama dua tahun”

    Menurut peguambelanya J Chandra, Raja Petra ditahan kerana menyiarkan rencana di website beritanya yang memburukkan nama pemimpin negara danmenghina kesucian Islam.

    Bekas penulis ruangan untuk suratkhabar telah didakwa dengan dakwaan menghasut dan memburukkan nama setelah menghubung kaitkan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Najib Abdul Razak dan isterinya dalamkes tergempar pembunuhan seorang gadis Mongolia.

    Inilah kali kedua Raja Petra ditahan bawah ISA.

    Beliau ditahan kali pertama pada tahun 2001, pada masa kemuncak gerakan reformasi yang dicetuskan oleh pemecatan dan hukum penjara bekas timbalan perdana menteri dan kini ketua pembangkang Anwar Ibrahim.

    Walau bagaimanapun, Raja Petra telah dilepaskan setelah 53 hari dalam tahanan polis, tanpa dihantar ke Kamunting.

  2. lee wee tak

    points drawn from the above

    1) Syed strongly believe the paper work done by police (i.e. he based on paper work done by other people only but did not say he went into the website to see the articles for himself, maybe he did) yet the court found the papers and procedures are illegal.

    Either Syed is not very good at reading papers or ignorant about the ISA procedures

    2) Syed signed the papers because he was satisfied with the police’s work which was subsequently disapproved by the court – Syed must be an easy man to please

    3) should the errand signatory be enquired at least, to find out the root of the problem, make the findings public to avod same mistake being repeated?

    At least he is honest – he mentioned that he is prepared not to be popular if he wants to do his job correctly but I think if he does his job properly, not many right minded people would view him in an unfavourable light

  3. ahoo

    The cry for ISA to be abolished will not stop here with RPK’s released. It will be stronger and louder as there are over 60 detainees still languishing therein. A law that was intended for the terrorists and communists can be used as a tool for the ruling regime to wantonly arrest those who they feel are a threat to them.

    It is just beyond comprehension as simply by signing on a document by the minister, the very people that they think are a threat will be thrown into Kamunting for a two years detention. And simply by signing again thereafter will extend the detention indefinitely. What justice is this ? Won’t the minister be misinformed by the investigating team or investigation incomplete due to insufficient evidence ? Even if the detainee is a suspected terrorist, the evidence in hand should be able to stand out in court of law. A panel of retired judges of unblemished record should be given the chance to conduct its own internal inquiry over the charges file by the police. In this way, at least we know that the justice has been served and the victim is not victimised.

    This is just my personal suggestion not knowing whether there is a need to pass a new act in parliament for this recommendation to be effective. Nonetheless, I think only by such check and balance will the abuses be reduced. Think of the many families in turmoil with their sole bread winner in Kamunting and know not when will they be released. Also the stigma of the young children growing up fatherless and with their mothers having to make ends meets daily.

    What will these young ones be one day ? Is the welfare department there to assist them monthly with allowances for food and schooling ? Will there be counselling session for the families of those detainees ? These issues are critical as these families are in dire need of assistance and more so with the current financial crisis. The govt should just produce them in court to face whatever charges the investigating team have gathered or release them back to their families. We need to repeal this draconian law and replace it with a more humane law where check and balance is in place to protect the innocent.

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