Apex court orders extradition of Iranian over Bangkok bombing

Sedaghatzadeh-MasoudPUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here today ordered an Iranian, who is wanted by the Thai government over a 2012 bombing in Bangkok, to be extradited to Thailand to face charges in connection with the case.

A five-man bench led by Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin made the decision after dismissing Sedaghatzadeh Masoud’s appeal against the High Court’s refusal to hear his habeas corpus application to secure his release.

Zulkefli said the panel was unanimous that there was no merit in the appeal on the three points raised by Sedaghatzadeh’s lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

He said even though Shafee had presented a very persuasive argument, the panel was not persuaded by it.

Zulkefli said the court also found that the documents provided by the Thai authorities to support the extradition order were more than sufficient to satisfy the requirements under the Extradition Act 1992.

He said although the charge was not specifically produced, the panel found the details to be in order and more than sufficient in place of the charge.

“On the third point on the breach of the constitutional rights of the appellant, we find that the alleged irregular, or unlawful arrest does not affect the current detention order,” he said.

Shafee had argued on the authenticity of the documents for extradition by the Thai authorities, saying none of the originals were given to their Malaysian counterparts.

He said only copies of the order were given, without the seal of the Thai justice minister.

“If you do not have the original document, you can produce a copy, but the copy must be certified that is a true copy of the original,” he said.

He also questioned the issue of no charge brought against his client in the documents.

Deputy public prosecutor Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud countered that the prosecution was not relying on the justice minister’s seal on the authenticity of the documents, but depending on an oath made by an officer, which was made in the form of an affidavit.

He also said that the Thai authorities, in their supporting documents to extradite Sedaghatzadeh, had stated seven offences against Sedaghatzadeh. Thus, there was no need for the charge to be produced specifically.

Sedaghatzadeh, 37, appealed against the High Court’s decision which had dismissed his writ of habeas corpus that he filed to secure his release.

In his writ of habeas corpus, Sedaghatzadeh named then home minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is now defence minister; the Sungai Buloh Prison director; and the public prosecutor as respondents.

He was detained under the Immigration Act on Feb 15, 2012 at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang upon arrival from Bangkok while on transit to Iran.

He was detained on a request from Bangkok after the Thai authorities suspected that he had links with two Iranians who were nabbed following an explosion at a house in the Thai capital on Feb 14, 2012.