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Malaysiakini update on Teresa's Habeas Corpus application

I earlier posted an entry (Lawyers in court trying to free RPK and Teresa ) regarding RPK and Teresa's Habeas Corpus applications. Heres an update from Malaysiakini:

A ‘habeas corpus’ application has been filed by Selangor exco Teresa Kok’s legal team today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in the bid to overturn her detention under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.


Habeas corpus is a writ ordering prisoners to be brought before a judge to ascertain if there are any procedural defects which could render their detention unlawful.

teresa kok habeas corpus application 150908 02“The whole story about the azan and mosques are absolutely untrue… all that is said in Utusan Malaysia report is totally wrong, untrue and malicious,” said lawyer Sankara Nair, who filed the affidavit on behalf of Teresa’s father Kok Tim Tong (photo, centre).

Sankara - accompanied by lawyers Karpal Singh and Ram Karpal Singh - said that there are no grounds for her arrest although the police have stated that she was detained for her involvement in “activities that may spark a religious dispute”.

“That is their standard line... We will raise these matters during the mention of the habeas corpus,” he said.

Teresa was arrested close to midnight outside by her condominium in Kuala Lumpur last Friday allegedly for voicing her opposition to using loudspeakers for prayer calls at mosques and suraus in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Bandar Kinrara, which was reported by Umno-owned Utusan.

However, Kok has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Kok’s father Kim Tong and DAP parliamentarians Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Tony Pua and several DAP supporters were also present at the court complex.

Teresa, who is also assemblyperson for Kinrara, along with prominent blogger and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng were arrested separately on Friday.

Tan, who had reported an Umno leader’s incendiary speech last month which caused a national furore, was released 18 hours after.

Firebrand blogger Raja Petra is believed to be detained for allegedly insulting Islam.

His wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, told Malaysiakini that their lawyers are expected to file a habeas corpus application for Raja Petra this week.

Marina added that she had got permission to visit Raja Petra tomorrow at 11am at the national police headquarters in Bukit Aman, whilst his lawyers would be meeting him on Thursday.

‘Impossible’ for Syed Hamid not to know

Karpal Singh - one of the top constitutional lawyers in the country and Bukit Gelugor parliamentarian - said that “the arrest and subsequent detention… was illegal, unlawful (and) unconstitutional”.

teresa kok habeas corpus application 150908 01“The allegation against her - for example, on the azan call, has been refuted by two mosque officials - merely shows that basis upon which she was arrested… and this (statements of mosque officials) would contaminate any other allegations against her,” said wheelchair-bound Karpal.

Karpal lambasted Syed Hamid, who said that Kok’s arrest was initiated by the police and that neither he nor his ministry had anything to do with it.

“This is impossible because the police can only make recommendations when it is an arrest (under ISA). It is for the home minister to direct whether someone should be arrested,” said Karpal.

“The green light is obtained from the executive in matters of this nature… the home minister must be consulted because he is the one who is ultimately going to decide after the 60 days period (whether) detention ought to be (extended),” he added.
Again, I reiterate my earlier position on the Habeas writ:

Personally, from the point of view of the law, there is little to no chance for Teresa and RPK's Habeas writs to be granted. This is because Habeas Corpus in Malaysia that deals with arrests under the ISA can only order the release of Teresa and RPK if they find that the method of arresting was illegal. They are not allowed to challenge the legality and reasons for the arrest, which is where this case lies. Will update as more news comes in.