Court rejects bail for Melaka rep charged with supporting LTTE

Gadek assemblyman G Saminathan fails in his bid for bail. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed a bail application by Melaka executive councillor G Saminathan who is facing two charges for LTTE linked terrorism activities.

Judicial Commissioner Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh said the government had classified the LTTE as a terrorist group.

“The home minister has yet to de-list the LTTE from the gazette,” he said.

On Jan 20, Saminathan pleaded not guilty to the charge of possessing LTTE-related items and providing support for the LTTE terrorist group after the charges were read to him before Ahmad Shahrir.

The Gadek assemblyman was charged with supporting the terrorist group at an event held at the Dewan Kasturi Air Keroh, Jalan Utama, Taman Ayer Keroh Heights, Melaka, on Nov 28, 2018.

He was also charged with possessing items related to the group in his cellphone at the office of  the Unity, Human Resources and Consumer Affairs exco, in the chief minister’s office, at Kompleks Seri Negeri, Melaka, on Oct 10, 2019.

The judge said he was aware that the offer of bail was at the court’s discretion and it was given to secure the attendance of accused persons during trial.

He said although Saminathan was facing charges under the Penal Code, his case is also liable under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or Sosma.

“Generally, bail is not given for those charged with an offence that carried the death penalty or life imprisonment. The exception is that the person is below the age of 18, women and those who are sick or infirm,” he said.

The judge said the accused was charged with a serious offence for allegedly giving support to LTTE, a terrorist group.

“LTTE is gazetted as a terror organisation under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act and the minister has yet to revoke it,” he said.

He said it was for the minister to review the matter and until a decision was made, the LTTE would remain a terror organisation in Malaysia.

Ahmad Shahrir said he was not inclined to offer bail because the penalty for the charges faced by the accused is life imprisonment or a maximum of 30 years’ jail or a fine.

He said although there were affidavits to show that Saminathan had some medical conditions, he found the ailments not to be life-threatening or needing immediate treatment.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh urged Ahmad Shahrir to give an early trial date since his client would now be languishing in jail as a remand prisoner.

The judge fixed Feb 11 for case management.

Deputy public prosecutors Mohd Firdaus Abu Hanipah and Rohaiza Abdul Rahman conducted the prosecution.

Soon after the proceedings, Saminathan’s wife, V Umadevi, broke down and cried.

Ramkarpal later told reporters that he would consult Saminathan on the next course of action.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, DAP national chairman Tan Kok Wai, Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy and Klang MP Charles Santiago were among those present in court.