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Phee’s remand irregular, High Court must act, say lawyers

 | August 12, 2017

Ramkarpal Singh and RSN Rayer say assistant registrar in lower court did not allow them to present their submissions against remand application by MACC.

Ramkarpal-Singh-and-RSN-Rayer-pheeGEORGE TOWN: The remand order for Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh is “irregular”, say his lawyers Ramkarpal Singh and RSN Rayer, who want it to be reviewed.

As a result, they will be applying to the High Court here to revise the five-day remand order, which was issued by an assistant registrar of a lower court earlier today.

Phee and two others were remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be investigated over an illegal factory in Bukit Mertajam.

Ramkarpal and Rayer said they will be going to Penang High Court senior justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail’s residence at Ayer Rajah Road to deliver the application by hand at 3.45pm today. They hope to get a High Court hearing tomorrow to rule on the remand order.

“We are of the view that the remand order is irregular and has to be revised by the High Court. A High Court judge can correct the order,” Ramkarpal told reporters outside the Magistrate’s Court here today.

Ramkarpal said the remand application hearing began with him asking the court to allow lawyers to communicate with Phee. He said MACC was preventing lawyers from talking to Phee.

Ramkarpal then told assistant registrar Ameera Mastura Khamis that he wanted the court to decide on MACC preventing lawyers from talking to Phee, before discussing the merits of the remand application.

“The learned registrar agreed, then adjourned for 20 minutes to decide on the matter.

“However, 20 minutes later, she returned to say she had decided on the whole remand application, without hearing our submissions,” Ramkarpal said.

He said since the remand order was not made to their liking, a provision in the Criminal Procedure Code allows a remand order deemed to be “irregular” to be revised by a High Court judge.

“So, I asked her to assist us in filing the necessary application to the High Court judge, but she refused.

“She maintained the application, despite concerns that the order is highly irregular. Unfortunately, they are not assisting us, especially during a weekend like today.”

Earlier today, a seven-day remand application was made by MACC deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Ghazali Muhamad Nadzri for the Sungai Puyu state assemblyman to be investigated for using his office or position for gratification under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.

The other two men remanded – a father and son aged 70 and 37, respectively – are the owners of the carbon filter factory which is alleged to have been operating illegally for more than 10 years.

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