Bar Council welcomes court decision to release Raja Petra
Friday, 07 November 2008 11:06pm
(Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Bar Council today welcomed the
High Court decision to release web portal Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra
Kamaruddin from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Its president, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, said Justice Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy
Syed Ahmad, who made the decision after allowing the application for a writ of
habeas corpus by Raja Petra, came at the right time.
"At a time when public confidence in the independence of the judiciary has taken
a beating from one judicial crisis to another, and at a time when promised
judicial reforms have yet to take place, the decision of the learned high court
judge in the habeas corpus application of Raja Petra Kamaruddin gives us hope
that our judiciary has acted and will act with courage, integrity and
independence when the liberty of an individual is threatened by the arbitrary
use of power under the Internal Security Act 1960," she said in a statement.
Ambiga said it was to the judiciary that an individual turned for the protection
of his rights against the might of the State, and it bode well for the nation
that the judiciary had shown that it was prepared to hold the executive
accountable for any abuse of its power.
In his judgment, the Shah Alam high court judge held that the grounds for Raja
Petra's detention by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar under section 8
of the ISA did not come within the scope of that section.
Syed Ahmad Helmy then ordered that Raja Petra, who has been held at the
Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak, since Sept 12, be brought before the
court at 4pm for his release.
Raja Petra, 58, had applied for the writ of habeas corpus seeking his release on
the grounds that his detention under the ISA was unlawful and unconstitutional.
He named Syed Hamid as respondent.
He was detained on the same day as Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and
Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, also under the ISA. Both have since