Sunday, March 6, 2016

Khairuddin wants judge recused from hearing Sosma case, says lawyer

Former Batu Kawan Umno leader Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan has applied to recuse Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri Idrus Harun from hearing a preliminary objection against the prosecution's appeal over the granting of bail in a questionable security offence case. Khairuddin's lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said he informed court deputy registrar Faizath Yahya that Idrus was the solicitor-general in the Attorney-General's Chambers when the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, was passed by Parliament in 2012. "The deputy registrar has taken note of this and will convey to the Court of Appeal president who decides on sits on a panel," Haniff said after a case management today. Khairuddin filed the objection that the prosecution's appeal should be struck out on grounds of being unconstitutional as it did not file an application to obtain leave to appeal.   The current position is that only an accused person must obtain leave to appeal in a case that originates from a subordinate court. "This ruling is discriminatory and violates the equality provision under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution," Haniff said. The Court of Appeal will hear this objection on April 20. On February 26, another Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh recused himself from hearing the prosecution's appeal as the judge knew Khairuddin and his sister. The High Court last November allowed bail for Khairuddin and his lawyer Matthias Chang – both charged with sabotaging the Malaysian economy – and ruled that it was not a security offence. The court ruled that procedures under Sosma could not be applied on them. They were released on RM10,000 bail, and the court ordered the trial to commence in the Sessions Court. However, the prosecution appealed against the ruling. Khairuddin had been under detention since September 8 last year and Chang, a former political aide to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, since October 8. On October 12, both men were charged with attempted sabotage of the Malaysian economy and the country's financial and banking system before a magistrate. They are accused of committing the offence in France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore – places where Khairuddin had lodged reports against state-owned investment firm, 1Malaysia Development Berhad – between June 28 and August 26 last year. – March 7, 2016.]]>

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