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Another lawyer interrogated - Bar alleges intimidation - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Putrajaya police today recorded statements from lawyer

N Surendran over his allegation in court that police were negligent in ensuring the well-being of one of his clients.

Surendran, however, said the police did not get much out of him as he had refused to answer more than one question until they informed him of the offence he was being investigated for.

hindraf probed by police 141008 surendran"According to the police report (shown to me), investigations were in relation to what I told the Kajang Magistrate. But when we asked what was the specific offense, the investigating officer could not tell us.

"Police can’t randomly call up people for questioning without notifying them of the offense," he said when contacted today.

Surendran was among a team of lawyers representing 10 individuals in a remand hearing on Oct 24 after they were arrested outside the prime minister’s office the day before.

The 10 were accompanying 6-year-old W Vwaishhnnavi, daughter of Hindraf chairperson-in-exile P Waytha Moorthy and her mother K Shanti in handing a letter to the prime minister.

During the remand hearing, one detainee NV Lourdes Mary, 44, fainted. Lourdes Mary is a diabetic and did not have access to insulin while in detention.

After she fainted, Surendran allegedly told Kajang Magistrate Nurdiana Mohd Nazari that the police were negligent in ensuring Lourdes Mary’s well-being.

Surendran said based on the police report against him, it appeared that the police were solely examining his statement about Lourdes Mary.

"The only conclusion we can come to is that this is an attempt to harass lawyers who are trying to perform their duties," he said.

Lawyers slam 'dangerous trend'

Surendran was accompanied by his lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah. Among the lawyers who turned up in a show of support for Surendran today included Bar Council president Ambiga Sreevenasan and her deputy K Ragunath.

ambiga sreenevasanContacted for comments later, Ambiga said the Bar Council was concerned over the latest trend of lawyers being called in for questioning in relation to the performance of their duties.

"This is a dangerous trend because it affects the independence of lawyers in protecting the interest of their clients," she said.

In July, a total of four lawyers were questioned in relation to the controversial statutory declaration made by private investigator P Balasubramaniam who is now ‘missing’. Bala later retracted his first declaration, saying he made it under duress.

Back then, the Bar Council had expressed concern that police tactics would undermine lawyer-client privileges.

hindraf probed by police 141008 s jayathasMeanwhile, Police Watch and Human Rights Committee co-ordinator S Jayathas (right) told Malaysiakini that the probe against Surendran was "ridiculous".

"First they arrested us for illegal assembly. Then, they said we violated the Societies Act. Now, they want to investigate our lawyer. It sounds like victimisation to us," he said.

Jayathas was among the 10 detainees Surendran had represented. He and Lourdes Mary were present at the Putrajaya district police headquarters today to show support for their lawyer -

If you can't beat 'em, scare 'em!