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AP: M'sia's Highest Crt To Decide Opposition Figures' Fate
By Dow Jones
7/6/2001 7:12 pm Thu
[Keputusan Hakim Hishamuddin telah menggegarkan suasana
dan pihak konspirator sekali lagi terkena. Rakyat menaruh harapan
kepada institusi kehakiman negara di bawah Hakim Dzaiddin untuk
membuktikan di mana ia berpijak sebenarnya. Nampaknya kemenangan
sudah semakin tidak lagi berpihak kepada Mahathir. Rakyat perlu
berhimpun beramai-ramai memuji dan menyokong tindakkan Hakim
Hishamuddin agar hakim lain tidak takut untuk menegakkan keadilan.
Ini adalah satu perang saikologi yang cukup penting kerana Mahathir
juga menggunakan tektik sebegini.
KUALA LUMPUR (AP)--Rejecting government lawyers'
objections, Malaysia's highest court said Wednesday it
would proceed with a trial to decide if police had acted
illegally in jailing five opposition activists without
The five - all linked to the opposition National Justice
Party, or Keadilan - were held by police in solitary
confinement for almost two months until last week, when
one was released and Home Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
ordered that the others be sent to a prison camp for up
to two years.
The five are among 10 supporters of jailed former deputy
premier Anwar Ibrahim who were arrested in April under
Malaysia's tough Internal Security Act, which allows
indefinite detention without trial on the government's
A high court judge last month rejected the five's claim
that police were acting illegally in detaining them. They
appealed, and the Federal Court convened a rare
five-judge panel led by Mohamad Dzaiddin Abdullah, the
country's top judge, to hear the case.
When the case began Wednesday, government lawyers asked
the judges to immediately dismiss the appeal on grounds
that the detainees were no longer in police custody and
were now being held under government order.
"The issue is whether the police can release them, (but)
they are no longer with the police," said Adbul Gani
Patail, the senior government lawyer.
Chief Justice Dzaiddin rejected the argument, saying:
"The issues are still alive." He set hearing dates for
the trial of July 9-11.
Chief Justice Dzaiddin rejected the argument, saying: "The issues are still alive." He set hearing dates for the trial of July 9-11.
Lawyers say the detainees' case has been bolstered by a
High Court judge's ruling in a separate court challenge
by two other opposition figures arrested in the April
crackdown. That judge found that the arrests were
illegal, and ordered the detainees to be freed.
Two other detainees still in police custody are planning
to start a court challenge to their detentions soon.
Of the 10 opposition figures arrested, two have been
freed on a judge's order, two have been released by
police, two are in police custody, and four are in the
Kamunting prison camp.
Opposition leaders say the arrests were a crackdown
ordered by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government
to quell dissent against his 20-year rule.
Police allege the group threatened national security by
plotting violent demonstrations to overthrow Mahathir's
government, although they have refused opposition demands
to produce detailed evidence.
Under the act, police can hold people for 60 days during
an investigation. After that, the home minister can order
further detention for two years. The order is renewable.
At no time is a detainee required to be brought before a
court under the law.
Keadilan is led by Anwar's wife. Anwar is serving prison
terms totaling 15 years for s###my and corruption on
charges he says were concocted to prevent him from
challenging Mahathir's power. The government denies any
(END) Dow Jones Newswires 06-06-01