Ramkarpal: Let 12 Men Charged with Supporting LTTE Walk Free Monday

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The 12 men charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must be quickly brought to court to be released, following the attorney-general’s decision to drop the case, said Ramkarpal Singh today.

The DAP lawmaker, who was representing some of the accused, said this must be done for the purpose of withdrawing their charges.

“What needs to be done now is to produce all of the said 12 in court for the purpose of withdrawing the charges against them, after which they will be acquitted of the same and immediately released.

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“As the said charges are going to be withdrawn, I urge the A-G to make the necessary arrangements for the said 12 to be produced in court this coming Monday for the said purpose,” he said in a statement.

He added that there is no reason to hold the 12 longer than necessary.

Earlier today, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, in a statement, said there is no realistic prospect of conviction for any of the 12 men on any of their 34 charges.

He said their possession of photos of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, deemed a hero to many Tamils, does not amount to supporting terrorism.

He also said the charges against one of the accused “simply cannot stand because at that point in time, LTTE was not even gazetted” by Malaysia as a terrorist organisation.

The 12, including the DAP assemblymen for Seberang Jaya and Gadek, were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) in October last year and charged under the Penal Code. They remain in detention as Sosma does not allow for bail.

The use of the act against the 12 has been criticised by members of the government, especially DAP MPs, as Pakatan Harapan had promised to review or abolish oppressive laws like Sosma.

The charges of supporting LTTE against the men were also met with disbelief by the public, as the group that fought in Sri Lanka’s civil war has been defunct since 2009.

Ramkarpal said Thomas must be commended for having the courage to recognise the fact that the charges are weak at best, and to decide to discontinue the proceedings against the 12.

His call for the immediate release of the 12 was echoed by his colleague and veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang.

In a brief media statement today, Lim said he is also looking forward to the release of two DAP lawmakers who were among the dozen charged.

“The decision of the Attorney General Tommy Thomas to discontinue prosecution proceedings against the twelve persons for alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) with immediate effect is most welcome.

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“I look forward to the release of Negri Sembilan State Assemblyman for Seremban Jaya P Gunasekaran, Malacca State Exco and State Assemblyman for Gadek G Saminathan and other DAP members among the twelve as free men,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said.

Lim also reiterated the DAP’s stance against terrorism.

“DAP reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in any form and reaffirms its commitment to effect political change through peaceful, non-violent and democratic means and to eschew any resort to any violence or any form of terrorism,” he said.

Related report: Feb 21, AG Drops Charges Against 12 Accused of Supporting LTTE