IGP: Maria held under Sosma because of document

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SEPANG: Maria Chin Abdullah was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) after the discovery of a document during a police raid on the Bersih office in Petaling Jaya on Friday.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the document could be used as evidence against Maria.

Moreover, he said, Maria had herself admitted to receiving funding from Open Society Foundations (OSF), owned by billionaire George Soros.

“Many parties, including a former leader and the lawyers, have tried to confuse the public.

“Maria was at first investigated for the violation of two laws – the Peaceful Assembly Act and Section 124C of the Penal Code.

“On Nov 18 (Friday), in a police raid on her office, we found a document that indicated a threat to parliamentary democracy,” he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.

“Based on the discovery of the document, we have the right to hold her for 28 days. We need time to investigate the document.

“We can choose other procedures, but we chose Sosma because Maria’s action was serious and involved national security,” he said, while declining to disclose the contents of the document seized by police.

Earlier this month, Maria told FMT that Bersih 2.0 had received a one-time RM70,000 contribution from OSF between 2010 to 2011, and that the sum represented only 11% of the movement’s income back then.

The opposition and some NGOs have questioned the police’s motives in arresting Maria on the eve of Bersih 5, as well as the use of Sosma against her.

Maria filed a habeas corpus application to be released today.

Khalid also denied that police were ill-treating Maria in detention.

“We treat Maria the same as other prisoners.

“We did not give a mattress to Maria because she did not ask for one.

“If she wants a mattress, she has to make an application.

“The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) visited her today and they applied for one, so we gave (her one),” he said.