KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — A total of 10 Malaysians were today charged in separate courts nationwide with several counts of terror-related criminal offences connected to a now defunct Sri Lankan militant group.
They were accused of either supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in charges framed under Section 130J(1)(a) of the Penal Code, or possession of material related to the separatist group under Section 130JB(1)(a) also of the same criminal law.
The LTTE had been active in Sri Lanka until it was officially defeated in 2009. It has been classified as a terrorist group by 32 countries including Malaysia, which did so in 2014.
All 10 were denied bail with the prosecution saying the Sessions Court — where the charges were filed — did not have the authority to rule on decisions made under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
A total of 12 people had been arrested previously for their alleged ties to the LTTE. The fate of the remaining two who were not taken to court today are unclear.
Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran and Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan were charged along with S. Chandru, a corporate CEO, with supporting the LTTE.
National news wire Bernama reported the charge against Gunasekaran, 60, Saminathan, 34, and Chandru, 38.
The trio were accused of committing the offence during an event at the Dewan Kasturi Ayer Keroh, on Jalan Utama, Taman Ayer Keroh Heights in Melaka on November 28 last year between 8.30pm and 10.50pm.
If found guilty, they can be sentenced to jail for life for a maximum 30 years, or a fine and can have any of their properties used in the offence confiscated.
Saminathan was also charged with possession of an item, said to have been used to perpetuate the offence linked to the LTTE, at the Human Resources and Consumer Affairs State Executive Council Office at the Melaka Chief Minister’s Department in Kompleks Seri Negeri on October 10 at 10.25am — which was a dark blue Samsung Galaxy S9+ handphone.
All three nodded, showing they understood the charges when it was read out before judge Elesabet Paya Wan, but no plea was recorded. They were represented by a five-lawyer team led by DAP national legal bureau chief Ramkarpal Singh.
Bernama reported that the trio were then taken back to Sungai Buloh Prison in Selangor, citing Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad saying bail was not allowed as the Sessions Court does not have the authority to make a decision involving Section 13 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
The case against the three accused are set for mention in court on December 16.
Separately in Selayang, Selangor, scrap metal dealer A. Kalaimughilan was charged before Sessions Court judge Maziah Joary Mohd Tajudin, with possession of terrorism-related paraphernalia belonging to the LTTE.
According to the charge sheet, Kalaimughilan was accused of committing the offence at Jalan Anggerik 5D, Bukit Sentosa, Rawang around 12.35pm on October 10.
In a second charge, the 28-year-old was accused of committing the same offence in a vehicle parked in front of a house at the same address around 9.30am on the same day.
Both the charges were read in Bahasa Malaysia by a court interpreter, and Kalaimughilan nodded to indicate he understood.
However, no plea was recorded as the accused was to be tried with the Sosma invoked. Deputy public prosecutor Rohaiza Abd Rahman also told the court that the offence was non-bailable under the security law’s provisions.
Kalaimughilan’s lawyer, V. Yoges, appealed for bail on grounds that her client suffered from health issues, but the court refused and ordered the accused to be further detained until the next mention on December 16.
When met outside court, Kalaimughilan’s wife M. Tamil Malar broke down in tears following the court’s decision to refuse bail.
In Sepang, secondary school teacher Sundram Renggan @ Rengasamy, 52, was similarly charged with possession of terrorism-related paraphernalia belonging to the LTTE, the same law used against Kalaimughilan.
The English and Physics teacher was accused of committing the offence at No 21, Jalan 6, Taman Telok, Telok Panglima Garang in the Selangor district of Kuala Langat on October 12 at 2.30pm. Bernama reported.
Like the others, no plea was recorded from Sundram Renggan when the charge was read aloud.
The teacher was represented by lawyer Kirthiraj Raja Sundram who asked for his release on bail, saying Sundram Renggan needed treatment for diabetes.
Sessions Court judge Saifulakmal Mod Said ruled for the teacher to remain under detention, but ordered that the accused be provided appropriate medical treatment.
Sundram Renggan’s case is also scheduled for mention in court on December 16.
In Segamat, S.Teran, 38, who works as a despatch rider for a law firm, was charged with one count of possessing items related to the LTTE before judge Rasidah Roslee.
The 38-year-old who is planning to wed in December was accused of committing the offence 10M, Jalan Genuang, Kampung Paya Pulai, here, at about 6.30 pm on October 10.
He was represented by lawyer A.Mathan who sought bail on medical grounds, saying Teran has a spinal problem that was treated in July but requires follow-up sessions.
The judge refused but requested a complete medical report and set mention for November 18.
Technician S. Arivainthan, 27, and taxi driver V. Balamurugan, 37, were charged with giving support to the LTTE at an event held at Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council Hall on December 28, 2014 between 6.30pm and 11.45pm.
Security guard M. Pumugan, 29, and storekeeper S. Thanagaraj, 26, were charged at the Sessions Court in Butterworth this afternoon before Norhayati Mohamad Yunus.
Pumugan was accused of possession terrorism-related paraphernalia belonging to the LTTE — a handphone — in the parking area in fron of N.S.E Lorry Transport Sdn Bhd on Lorong Industri Ringan, Permatang Tinggi in central Seberang Perai last Octobe 12 at 3.16pm.
Bernama did not report the brand or model of the handphone.
Pumugan was accused of committing the same offence in a house in Juru, Bukit Mertajam the same day about an hour later.
Thanagaraj was accused of having LTTE-related material in his handphone at Sky Thommas Food Industries Sdn Bhd located at No 1066, Jalan Perindustrian Bukit Minyak 2, Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Minyak on October 12 at 10am.
He was also accused of committing the same offence an hour later at No 7, Lorong Sejahtera 3, Taman Sejahtera, central Seberang Perai Tengah.
Both men were represented by lawyer N. Ahilan who pleaded for Pumugan to be allowed out on bail for medical reasons.
Bernama reported the lawyer telling the court that the security guard suffers from seizures and even had an attack while in detention, but was not given any treatment even after the investigating officer was informed.