Why detain Maria under Sosma, asks lawyer

Why detain Maria under Sosma, asks lawyer

Anti-terror law’s 28-day detention period without trial is excessive for Bersih leader Maria China Abdullah, says lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah.

PETALING JAYA: Police could have just recorded Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah’s statement as part of their investigation instead of detaining her under a security law, her lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah said.

“Why the need to invoke the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) that allows police to detain her for a maximum of 28 days,” he asked.

He cited the case of The Edge publisher and CEO Ho Kay Tat whose statement was recorded last year to facilitate investigations under the financial daily’s articles on 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Ho was said to have committed activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy, an offence under section 124B of the Penal Code that carried a jail term of up to 20 years.

Maria was arrested on Friday for attempting to commit a similar offence, on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

This offence is under section 124C of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 15 years upon conviction.

However, police relied on Sosma, a procedural law, that is used against suspected militants and terrorists to conduct their investigation after detaining Maria.

Meanwhile, lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said the maximum 28-day detention under Sosma was an abuse of process of Maria’s legal right and her freedom.

“A suspect investigated for murder, drug trafficking or firearm possession will be remanded for a maximum 14 days before being charged or freed, but in Maria’s case she could be detained for 28 days,” he said.

Why detain Maria under Sosma, asks lawyer
November 21, 2016 – FMT


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