Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mkini-Hindraf 5 appeal dismissed

Mkini- Soon Li Tsin May 14, 08 12:52pm

The Federal Court today dismissed the appeal by five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders to be released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

In a brief judgment this morning, Chief Judge of Malaya and panel chair Alauddin Mohd Sheriff said the detention order issued by the Internal Security Minister on Dec 13 last year was valid and met all the requirements under the ISA.He said the three-member panel of the country's highest court agreed with the findings of Kuala Lumpur High Court judicial commissioner Zainal Azman Abdul Aziz who held that the minister could order a person to be detained under Section 8 of the ISA on Feb 26.

Alauddin said that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his capacity as the then Internal Security Minister had rightly issued the detention order and had complied with the procedural requirements under the Act.This was unanimously agreed by two other judges - Arifin Zakaria and Hashim Mohd Yusoff when the judgment was delivered at around 11am this morning.

Review application on Monday.
The ruling means the five have almost exhausted their legal battle nd will have to remain detained under the security law, which allows for detention without trial.In their habeas corpus applications, the five stated that their detention was unlawful because of the vague grounds given for their arrest.The detainees' counsel Gobind Singh Deo said he was disappointment with the ruling, adding that they will file for the Federal Court to review its own decision on Monday."We are disappointed with the decision that was brief and it did not address the issues we raised on the points of law for consideration."We intend to apply for a review and we'll submit that application on Monday," he told Malaysiakini.The detainees were also represented by Karpal Singh and his son Ram Karpal. Also present, representing the government, was attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.

Straight to detention centre
The five are P Uthayakumar, V Ganabatirau, R Kenghadharan, T Vasantha Kumar and M Manoharan.
They were detained under Section 8(1) ISA on Dec 13 last year under Abdullah's orders.
As such they were immediately sent to under a two-year detention to the Kamunting detention centre without first having to undergo a 60-day investigative period.The five rose to fame after organising an illegal assembly on Nov 25 which drew 30,000 ethnic Indians out of their homes to protest on the streets against unfair treatment and marginalisation.The law enforcers responded with water cannons, tear gas and arrests soon after. While the Hindraf lawyers were charged for making seditious statements against the government, several protesters were charged with illegal assembly and attempted murder.
Their supporters however argued that the five - four of whom are lawyers - were merely raising issues concerning the community.

Numerous quarters, including Barisan Nasional component parties such as MIC, MCA and Gerakan, have called for their release