Former Umno branch leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang were charged today with attempting to sabotage the Malaysian economy and the country’s financial and banking system.
They are accused of committing the offence in France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore, between June 28 and August 26 this year.
No plea was taken when both were brought before magistrate Siti Radziah Kamarudin, as she has no authority to hear the case since it is a security offence under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma.
Khairuddin and Chang were charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code, which upon conviction carries a jail term of up to 15 years.
However, procedures under Sosma will be used instead of the Evidence Act, as this is not considered a normal criminal proceeding.
Radziah gave the prosecution, led by deputy public prosecutors Masri Mohd Daud and Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, until October 26 to get the attorney-general’s approval for the case to be transferred to the High Court.
Until then, both Khairuddin and Chang will remain in remand since security offence cases are not bailable.
Masri had earlier tried asking the court for one month to have the case transferred to the High Court.
Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla told the magistrate to transfer the case to the High Court today as they would be raising constitutional issues relating to the appointment of Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.
“We are of the view that his appointment on July 27 is unconstitutional and so he cannot issue any certificate of sanction to have the case transferred,” he said.
Haniff added that the charge did not appear to come within the ambit of security offence, and both were entitled to bail pending the outcome of their case.
He said the prosecution was abusing the investigation process to continue keeping them under detention.
He also urged both men to be held in remand at the Kajang prison.
Chang, a former political aide to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was arrested on October 8 at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, when he went there to visit Khairuddin, who is also being held under Sosma.
The anti-terrorism law allows for a suspect to be held for up to 28 days after arrest.
Khairuddin was rearrested on September 23 under Sosma. He filed an habeas corpus application against the government challenging his arrest under the act.
His case will be heard before High Court judge Kamardin Hashim tomorrow.
Khairuddin had been remanded since September 19 under Section 124C of the Penal Code for trying to carry out activities deemed detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Khairuddin and Chang smiled and raised their hands when they were brought to the packed court today, vowing to “fight Najib till the end” and declaring their innocence. – October 12, 2015.
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