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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Second habeas corpus filed by RPK’s lawyers

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Sep 30, 08 4:45pm


Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) has filed a second habeas corpus applicati on at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

His wife Marina Lee Abdullah said the legal team had submitted the application today.

“This application is totally different from the first one,” she said when contacted.

“Whereas the first detention order meant he would be detained for up to 60 days, the second said he can be detained in there for life.”

A writ of habeas corpus orders the authorities to produce detainees before a judge to determine whether the government has the right to continue holding them.

The first application filed on Sept 16 was against the popular blogger’s initial detention under Section 73(1) of the ISA, which allows the police to detain a person deemed to be prejudicial to national security for a maximum of 60 days for interrogation.

On the eve of the hearing on Sept 23, however, the Home Ministry signed another order - this time under Section 8 - before packing RPK (left) off the next day to the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.

Section 8 provides for a detention period of two years, renewable upon the minister’s discretion.

Public prosecutors, therefore, had then argued that the application had been rendered moot by the modified section under which Raja Petra was held.

Decision still pending

In his blog posted earlier today, Raja Petra’s lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar noted that the first application to review Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar’s detention order against Raja Petra under Section 73(1) is still pending.

“The judge has to make a decision whether to strike it out for being academic. As we see it, it is not, as the detention order issued by the minister was based on the recommendations of the police,” said Malik.

“The order issued by the minister flowing from the earlier detention by the police, we take the view that the validity of the earlier detention is of relevance to the question of whether RPK is currently being legitimately detained.”

The point will be further argued on Oct 28.

Malik said further that a date has yet to be fixed for the hearing for the second habeas corpus application.

“We expect to know only after Hari Raya,” he said.

Raja Petra, who has become a cause celebre for his scathing attacks against high government leaders, has been detained ostensibly for writing articles that were deemed sensitive to Muslims.

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