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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’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.
“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.
This 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.