Sad beginning for the struggle for freedom

The hearing of Dr. Michael Jeyakumar and 5 other PSM (Socialist Party of Malaysia) members’ habeas corpus application was adjourned today to 5 August 2011.

The hearing was adjourned at the request of Senior Federal Counsel, Othman Yusof (SFC) representing the Inspector General of Police, the Government and the Minister of Home Affairs, the Respondents. The ground advanced by the SFC was that they needed to respond to 15 affidavits filed by the applicants, namely the 6 detainees. These affidavits were served on them on 19 July.

Earlier, lead counsel, Haji Sulaiman for the 6 detainees submitted that the request for the adjournment ought to be refused. He said that they could not file the affidavits earlier because the Respondent had delayed in providing the lawyers’ access to the detainees. “The Respondent would not be in a predicament to request for an adjournment, had they allowed the detainees access to their lawyers earlier”.

Haji Sulaiman argued that the sole ground advanced by the Respondent for the continued detention of the applicants in their earlier affidavits was that the 6 were detained because the police were investigating them for their role in the Bersih rally of 9th July. Since the rally is over, there are no further grounds for their continued detention. “The Respondent should not be rewarded by asking for an adjournment to put in further affidavit”.

High Court Judge Su Geok Yiam in the course of the proceedings enquired if the applicants are prepared to abandon the 15 affidavits, before making her ruling to allow the adjournment.

After the ruling, Hj Sulaiman agreed to abandon the 15 affidavits, with a view of proceeding with the habeas corpus application. SFC Othman objected as a ruling has been made.

Justice Su proceeded to give directions on the filing of the affidavits and outline submissions.

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Many from different walks of life, young and old, able or otherwise, came in the hundreds to witness the hearing and to show support and solidairty for the 6 who have been detained under the Emergency Ordinance 1969.

They left disappointed, chatting along the way “BEBAS-BEBAS! BEBAS PSM-6”.

 

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