KUALA LUMPUR: Eight more individuals accused of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were today released and freed of all charges.
They included Gadek assemblyman G.Saminathan, 35, technician S.Arivainthan, 28, scrap metal dealer A. Kalaimughilan, 29, postman S.Teeran, 39, Green Technology company chief executive officer (CEO) S.Chandru, 39, Sundram [email protected], 53, security guard M.Pumugan, 30, and DAP member V. Suresh Kumar, 44.
They were acquitted and discharged by four separate High Courts today.
Their release follows the prosecution’s application to discontinue with the prosecution against them upon the instructions of the Attorney-General (AG) relating to the charges.
Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin in acquitting Saminathan and Arivainthan said there was no prospect for the charges against the accused to be reinstated since the prosecution did not wish to proceed with the case.
“I therefore discharge and acquit the accused from all the charges and the trial dates that have been fixed earlier to be vacated,” he said.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Farhan Aliff Ahmad who conducted the duo’s cases told the court that the prosecution wished to stop the proceedings against the them in accordance with Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
He said this was in line with AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ media statement, last week.
Meanwhile, counsel Ramkarpal Singh who represented the accused said since there were no reasonable grounds provided by the prosecution to discontinue the case, the proper order was to discharge and acquit his clients.
“The facts of the case is the same with the case of P. Gunasekaran (Seremban Jaya assemblyman) who was acquitted and discharged by the High Court yesterday.
“There is no reason to give a different order,” he said.
Also representing the duo was counsel Harshaan Zamani.
Seen in the courtroom were DAP leaders M.Kulasegaran and Lim Kit Siang.
Meanwhile, on the same grounds, judicial commissioner Datuk Aslam Zainuddin acquitted and discharged Kalaimughilan, Teeran, Chandru, and Sundram, while, Pumugan was released before judicial commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh and Suresh by judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
Family members and supporters of all the accused who were present sighed relief upon hearing the acquittal verdict.
They clapped and cheered in happiness as the accused walked out of the courtroom.
Muhammad Asyraf Minhad, Izhanuddin Alias and Mohamad Nuzul Azuar Zulkifli also prosecuted.
Ramkarpal and Harshaan also represented Suresh Kumar, while counsel Dr. N. Ahilan represented Pumugan, and Chandru, Sundram, Kalaimughilan and Teeran were represented by A.Mathan.
All the accused were charged with multiple counts of pledging their support to the terror group via their Facebook account and by attending events relating to the group as well as possessing LTTE-related items.
They were alleged with committing the offences between 2014 and 2019 at several locations in different states including Melaka, Perak and Penang and Selangor.
Yesterday (Monday), Gunasekaran and taxi driver V.Balamurugan were acquitted and discharged by three separate High Courts.
The remaining two accused S. Thanagaraj and B. Subramaniam is expected to get the same acquittal order tomorrow (Wednesday).
On Feb 21, Thomas decided to drop the charges against 12 people who were accused of supporting LTTE.
In the statement, Thomas said there were compelling reasons to not pursue the charges against the accused, foremost of which was that “there is no realistic prospect of conviction” against any of them for the 34 charges they were facing.
The 12 were first brought to court on Oct 31, last year and faced charges of supporting and possessing items related to the terror group.
They were not granted bail as they were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.