Sunday, May 26, 2013

SOSMA duo rearrested for terrorism, says lawyer

Yazid Sufaat and Muhammad Hilmi Hasim were rearrested for terrorism this morning under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) 2012 despite the High Court throwing out similar charges last week for inciting terrorism in Syria, their lawyer said today.

Yazid’s lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said today that they were arrested under section 130K(a) of the Penal Code, which falls under SOSMA, for harbouring terrorists for terrorist activities, but said it was unknown if Halimah Hussein, who had also been charged under the security law, was rearrested as well.

“It’s mala fide definitely,”

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“They failed on the first charge. The facts are almost the same,” she said, adding that a habeas corpus would be filed soon.

The human rights lawyer said that they were being taken to the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters.

The High Court threw out the maiden charges last Monday against Yazid, Muhammad Hilmi and Halimah that were filed under SOSMA, after allowing their applications to strike out the charges for “inciting unrest” in Syria.

When handing down the judgment, Justice Kamardin Hashim said the court was satisfied that there was merit in the submission by the defence pertaining to the charges and the application of SOSMA, which was enacted under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.

In his judgment, Kamardin said Article 149 was only applicable for acts of threats in Malaysia.

Speaking with Singapore’s The Straits Times last Wednesday, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad ― one of the lawyers acting for the three defendants ― concurred with the judge’s findings that the Federal Constitution allows Parliament to legislate special laws only to deal with threats against Malaysia.

Yazid, 49, a cafeteria operator at the Jalan Duta court complex here, was charged with promoting an ideology to incite Syrians to commit terrorist acts, while his friend Halimah and cafeteria worker Muhammad Hilmi were charged with abetting him.

They were charged with committing the offences in Taman Bukit Ampang between August 1 and October 20 last year.

Yazid was charged under section 130G(a) of the Penal Code while Halimah and Muhammad Hilmi were charged under section 109, both of which carry sentences of up to 30 years’ jail.

The SOSMA was introduced as part of a larger reforms pledge made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2009. Among others, the reforms included the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the introduction of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

Although replacing the ISA, the SOSMA lost the former’s arbitrary powers to detain an individual indefinitely and without charge.

Proponents of the ISA believe this may hamper its ability as a security law to be used against global terrorism, but critics contend that there are already adequate laws to deal with such offences.
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