PUTRAJAYA: Evidence pertaining to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s 2008 Internal Security Act (ISA) detention over allegations that she was involved in activities detrimental to public safety were not produced during the trial, the Court of Appeal heard on Wednesday.
Her lawyer, Sankara Nair, said the police had failed to obtain concrete evidence over her alleged involvement in a “azan” (religious prayers’ call) volume protest, petition on removing Jawi signage, a SMS directing her involvement as well as a petition on not to have the “azan” played.
“The interrogating officer testified (during the trial) that he just asked her name and some basic information during questioning.
“He was not provided materials from the investigation, and she was then kept in detention for seven days,” he said. “The officer did not see the so-called petition calling for a lower ‘azan’ voice.”
“On the ‘azan’ accusation, a witness from the mosque told the court that it was because of their faulty speakers that the mosque could not play the prayers.”
Sankara said no solid evidence was taken from witnesses in any investigations. This was a case of an innocent MP bundled into a car and locked away under the now repealed draconian Act.
Senior federal counsel Lailawati Ali, representing former Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan, policeman E Kim Tien and the government, said the police did have reason to arrest her.
“The investigating officer, based on the grounds of the two ‘azan’ issues, the petition to remove Jawi signs and SMS links, arrested her in 2008.
“The arresting officer said detention under Section 73(1) of the ISA was necessary in order to carry out investigations,” she said.
She added that Kok was released after police were satisfied that she no longer needed to be detained.
Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, along with Justices Varghese George Varughese and Zaleha Yusof, reserved judgment to a date to be fixed.
Last year, Kok failed to challenge the government on her 2008 ISA arrest and detention, with the High Court ruling that the detention was lawful.
She was also ordered to pay RM50,000 as cost.
On March 13, 2009, Kok filed the suit against Syed Hamid, Musa, DSP Kim Tien and the Malaysian government, claiming that she was wrongfully arrested and detained under the ISA.
She claimed that her arrest and detention were baseless and that she had gone through severe mental stress, pain and suffering due to food poisoning and denial of her constitutional rights.