Suspected gang leader fails in bid for early release

PUTRAJAYA, July 5 — A suspected leader of the Deva gang has failed in his attempt to gain freedom by way of habeas corpus ahead of his 29th birthday today.

The Federal Court ruled yesterday that his detention at the Simpang Rengam rehabilitation centre for alleged involvement in violent crimes was not prejudiced in any way.

The court’s quorum comprising Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zaki Azmi and Federal Court judges Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin unanimously dismissed S. Alaguthven’s appeal to challenge the two-year detention order under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 issued against him.

Zaki said the court was of the view that a statement by a public officer sent by the Advisory Board within the required period must be accepted as true unless Alaguthven had evidence to the contrary.

In this case, there was a delay of only one day in submitting the report and the then Internal Security Deputy Minister had given sufficient explanation on the matter, he said.

However, Zaki was unhappy with the long time taken by the High Court to dispose of the habeas corpus application.

“In our case, the appellant’s detention would expire in September. Why this should happen? It would prejudice the applicant’s human right,” he said.

He then turned to Senior Federal Counsel Najib Zakaria and asked how long the High Court would normally take to dispose of an habeas corpus application.

Najib replied: “Normally between two and three months.”

Alaguthven filed the writ of habeas corpus at the Alor Star High Court but was denied by the court last year. He then filed the appeal to the Federal Court to reverse the High Court decision.

In the application, he said he had never been involved in violent crimes and his detention under the Emergency Ordinance was wrong.

He also said the Internal Security Minister did not have enough grounds to have him detained and all the allegations against him were fabricated mala fide and with malice.

“I vehemently believe and state that my arrest and detention at the rehabilitation centre are unlawful,” he said.

Alaguthven was detained for his suspected involvement in several cases of armed robbery and carjacking. — Bernama

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