High court refers Khairuddin and Chang’s Sosma case to Apex Court

Source: TheSunDaily

Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang, outside the magistrate’s court in Kuala Lumpur, after being charged with sabotaging the economy over their police reports on 1MDB. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 12, 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today has referred former Batu Kawan Umno division vice chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang Wen Chieh’s case to the Federal Court to determine whether the charges they faced are triable under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said the court will forward three questions on constitutional issues to the Apex Court soon, among others, does the charge against the accused persons as tendered before this court under Section 124L of Penal Code, fall outside the constitutional ambit of Sosma?

“If the answer to the first question is in affirmative, do the accused persons have the right to be released on bail forthwith?

“If the answer to the first question is in negative, should the trial against the two accused, be conducted in the Sessions Court taking into account the sentencing provision under Section 124L of Penal Code?” he said.

The judge made the ruling after hearing submissions from defence lawyers Mohamed Hanif Khatri Abdulla and Zainur Zakaria and Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Masri Daud and Mohamad Abazafree Mohd Abbas.

The duo had on Oct 13, filed a motion under Section 35 of Courts of Judicature Act 1964, at the High Court seeking several orders from the High Court, among others, that the charge against them under section 124L of the Penal Code does not fall under Sosma and therefore, wanted the court to release them on reasonable bail.

Khairuddin, 53, and Chang, 65, were charged with attempting to sabotage Malaysia’s banking and financial services under Section 124L of the Penal Code (Act 547) read with Section 34 of the same Code, which carries a jail term of up to 15 years upon conviction.

He allegedly committed the offence at five locations between June 28 and Aug 26, this year.

The locations are the office of the France Economic and Financial Crimes Division chief in Paris; Charing Cross Police station, London, United Kingdom; office of the Switzerland Attorney General in Bern; WaiChan Police station, Hongkong and Cantonment Police Headquarters, Singapore.

At today’s proceedings, Khairuddin and Chang, wearing a white T-shirt and pants, smiled at their family members upon entering the courtroom.

Khairuddin’s wife, actress Datin Seri Umie Aida was also present accompanied by her best friend, actress Erra Fazira.

During court’s break, Umie Aida was seen chatting with her husband.

After the judge delivered his decision, Chang who sat in the dock raised his hand to address the court.

When given the opportunity to address the court, Chang said he wanted the judge to decide whether their actions in visiting four police stations and one Attorney-General’s Chambers overseas was considered as an attempt to sabotage the country’s financial services.

“Your Lordship have read the charge, I am a solicitor for 39 years. Shall we pleaded guilty on the charge?,” he said adding that they should not be made a guinea pig although the questions were novel.

Mohd Azman said the court had made the ruling on the matter and had referred the case to the Federal Court. — Bernama

 

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