Federal court rejects applications of 16 charged under SOSMA

30 Jan 2019 / 23:04 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today unanimously revoked the application of the 16 individuals who were charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) to refer to the constitutional issue on the act as it is academic.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, chairing the panel of nine judges, made the decision after allowing the prosecution’s preliminary objection as the reference of the act was not suitable for use under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Courts (CoJA) Act 1964.

Therefore, the court revoked the defence’s references pertaining to SOSMA under Section 84 CoJA. The section stipulated that only cases involving constitutional issues may be referred to the Federal Court.

In his judgment, the Chief Justice said at this time no further charge was made under SOSMA in the High Court.

Also present at today’s proceedings were the Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, Sabah and Sarawak Chief Judge Datuk David Wong Dak Wah, as well as Court Judges, namely, Tan Sri Ramly Ali, Datuk Seri Balia Yusof Wahi, Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman as an applicant in his protest argued that the government was currently reviewing SOSMA and it was expected to be debated in Parliament in March.

In addition, he said the issue was also academic in nature because the charge made under the act had been withdrawn and there was no more charge under the same act.

Meanwhile, Tan Sri Mohamad Shafee Abdullah and Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, acting on behalf of the respondents, stressed that the issue of whether SOSMA was related to the constitution or not needed to be answered by the Federal Court as it was something serious and of public interest.

Kamarul Hisham, in his argument, said all respondents were released without being freed by the court and could be re-charged under the same act. In addition, there was a statement stating that the moratorium on this act would be withdrawn based on current circumstances, so SOSMA still existed.

Prior to this, all respondents were charged under Section 130V (1) of the Penal Code for being members of a planned criminal group, however, the prosecution had withdrawn the charge and had submitted a new charge, namely, Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966.

The amended charge provided for a maximum jail term of three years or a fine of up to RM5,000 or both. — Bernama

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