Malaysia: Lawyer Arrested for Defending Anti-Corruption ActivistEvent
- Initial Date
- Oct 8, 2015
- Event Description
Lawyer Matthias Chang has been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma). In an SMS message, Chang said he was being arrested on the same grounds as his client, Khairuddin Abu Hassan. "Just got arrested under Sosma for (Section) 124K and 124L (of the Penal Code). Same as Khairuddin," the text message read. Section 124K and 124L of the Penal Code deal with sabotaging and attempting to sabotage the state. Chang's aide told Malaysiakini that he was arrested this afternoon at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters while visiting Khairuddin who has been detained under Sosma for 15 days . Police have questioned the lawyer on two occsions prior to today's arrest. It was reported that Chang and his client Khairuddin were barred from travelling overseas on Sept 18, following Khairuddin's vocal criticism of the 1MDB affair. Questioned1MDB affair Khairuddin, the Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief, was initially arrested under Section 124C of the Penal Code for 'activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy' for lodging reports against 1MDB in several countries abroad. He is now being held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) which deals with terrorist activities. Chang was questioned by the police on Sept 28 and again on Oct 2 as a witness in respect of the allegations levelled against his client. UPDATE: 27/ 11/ 2015 Khairuddin, Matthias out on bail, court rules Sosma not applicable The High Court today allowed bail for former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang who were charged with sabotaging the Malaysian economy, and ruled that it was not a security offence. "As such, procedures under Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 could not be applied on them," judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said in allowing the duo's application. He released them on RM10,000 bail, and ordered the trial to commence in the Sessions Court. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was present in court this morning to lend support to his former aide and Khairuddin, said he had always maintained that there was no offence and the use of Sosma was not correct. "I am very glad as I thought there is no case. I always thought there is no case under that law (Sosma). Justice has been done," he told reporters. Dr Mahathir, his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and former minister Tan Sri Sanusi Junid were among those present in the packed courtroom today. The judge today said Parliament had never intended the charge under section 124L of the Penal Code to be a security offence. The charge under this section carries a jail term of up to 15 years upon conviction. "They cannot be denied bail and Sosma procedures cannot be used in their trial," the judge said. Deputy Public Prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud said the prosecution will appeal to the Court of Appeal. Judge Azman has fixed the matter for case management on January 12. Khairuddin has been under detention since September 8 and Chang, since October 8. Chang, a former political aide to Dr Mahathir, was arrested at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, when he went there to visit Khairuddin who was being held under Sosma. The anti-terrorism law allows for a suspect to be held for up to 28 days after arrest. On October 12, both men were charged with attempted sabotage of the Malaysian economy and the country's financial and banking system. They are accused of committing the offence in France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore, between June 28 and August 26 this year - places where Khairuddin had lodged reports against state-owned investment firm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). 1MDB is the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and detractors, led by Dr Mahathir, have accused the prime minister of silencing criticism of 1MDB with the use of Sosma.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Restrictions on Movement
- Rights Concerned
- Right to information
- Right to political participation
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 08 October 2015, Mr. Matthias Chang, the lawyer for detained former Umno branch leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, was arrested today under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Khairuddin, was initially arrested under Section 124C of the Penal Code for 'activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy' for lodging reports against 1MDB in several countries abroad.