Malaysiakini News

AG to consider amending charges on 442 Sosma detainees - Hanipa

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Attorney-general Tommy Thomas will consider amending the charges against 442 detainees under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

This announcement by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin came after detainees launched a hunger strike at the Sungai Buloh Prison, urging the government to repeal Sosma. 

The 118 detainees agreed to end the hunger strike after meeting Hanipa on Aug 26. 

"The attorney-general, in his capacity as public prosecutor, is considering whether his chambers can amend the charges against the detainees," Hanipa said in a statement today.

It will involve 442 detainees who are being probed under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966 for being members of an unlawful society, as well as Sections 141 to 158 of the Penal Code for offences against public tranquillity.

"This process will take some time and has to be on a case-by-case basis," Hanipa said, adding that the public prosecutor will give priority to female offenders and juveniles, the sick or infirm detainees.

"When amended charges are made, the accused can either plead guilty to them or claim trial. In the event these offenders claim trial to the amended charges, bail may be applied by them, and it is in the discretion of the court whether or not to grant bail."

Sosma is a procedural law which sets out procedures for certain offences, the Sepang MP added.

However, Hanipa said, 22 detainees who are being probed for allegedly committing terrorism offences under the Penal Code are not going to have their charges amended.

"It is my view those cases are best left to be dealt with by the learned AG in accordance with his discretion pursuant to Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution, until the cabinet makes a final decision with regard to Sosma," he added.

Thomas was reported to have said that Sosma would be abolished as promised by the Pakatan Harapan government. 

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